Storm Player Profile-Cole Figueroa
Lake Elsinore Storm 2B Cole Figueroa was born as Stephen Cole Figueroa on 6/30/87. His father, Bien Figueroa, played for the St Louis Cardinals in 1992 as an infielder.
Cole was taken in the 6th round of the 2008 player draft as a sophomore from the Florida Gators. He led the Gators his sophomore season in HR, RBI, multi-hit games, total bases and sac flies. He signed in July and was assigned to the Eugene Emeralds. A right handed throwing, left handed batting 2B/SS, the 5-10, 180 lb IF got off to a good start and played 32 games for the season. In 114 at bats he showed a .289/.410/.474 line with 23 R, 6 2B, 5 HR, and 16 RBI. Not a particularly fast runner, Cole has great base running instincts and stole 7 his first partial season and was caught 2 times.
The scouting report on Figueroa states he is adept at both short and second with good fundamentals at both positions. He is a natural leader with an above avg arm and sure hands. He is very sure-footed and quick in turning the double play from either position.
Cole began the 2009 season with Lake Elsinore but struggled a bit and hurt his meniscus in his knee during a double play. After rehab he was sent to Fort Wayne, the low A affiliate, and showed himself as an important member of that championship TinCaps team. With a .319/.408/.403 line in 70 games and 238 at bats, he scored 32 runs with 76 hits. He had 15 2B, 3B, HR, 34 RBI and 10 SB with 7 CS. He was named Midwest League player of the week on 7/13/09 for his efforts.
Many members of that championship team were promoted to Lake Elsinore this season with Cole playing primarily second base. He did fill in at short on occasion, especially when the first half SS, Drew Cumberland, was out of the lineup. He has hit primarily second in the line up with excellent on base skills. His line so far this season is .308/.416/.410 in 102 games and 393 at bats. His 121 hits, 76 runs, 22 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 57 RBI and 69BB/40 SO is tied with Catcher Robert Lara for tops on the team of regulars. He also has 22 stolen bases against 7 caught stealing. He has hit .336 with runners in scoring position.
Figueroa has a short, compact stroke with good plate coverage and great bat control. He is a contact hitter who is also able to hit with some power and has more RBI than most second hitters. He has a very level plane to his swing, which helps with making contact as his bat is in the zone for a longer period of time. As a natural leader he promises to be an excellent major league middle infielder who, with improved pitch selection, will be a valuable member of a major league roster soon. With his present success in the Padres system, it will be interesting to see how he fits into the plans of the San Diego Padres.