Cole Foster is the top prep shortstop in the state of Texas. The senior at Plano Senior High School has a unique opportunity in front of him that most prep baseball players don’t receive.
Foster is considered a top prospect for this year’s MLB draft and also is committed to Auburn University, who qualified for the College World Series in 2019.
Depending on where Foster is selected in the draft likely will determine his next step. Professional scouts project Foster as an early-round pick in the draft.
“It’s a surreal process,” Foster said. “I’ve just been enjoying it because not many people get to go through this. I’m not taking it for granted and doing my best to stay focused on my goal and to be the best baseball player and the person I can be.”
Foster is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound switch-hitting shortstop who has the tools and potential to remain at that defensive position in the pro ranks.
Defensively, Foster slows the game down with strong fundamental play. He has solid arm strength and is fluid with his hands and feet, which allows him to make difficult plays at shortstop.
“My defense and arm strength are my biggest strengths,” Foster said. “My dad and I take a certain amount of ground balls a lot of times on a field by my house that’s not in the best shape that gives me some crazy hops, which I think helps me a lot. Just a lot of reps and different drills have helped me.”
Foster has a smooth, compact swing from both sides of the plate. He originally was a right-handed hitter but wanted to switch hit to increase his offensive value. He makes consistent, hard contact and has room to increase his power potential as he matures physically.
Despite having the talent to switch hit, Foster hasn’t always batted left-handed for his high school team. He switch hit at times his freshman and junior years, but his high school coach Rick Robertson was against the idea, preferring him to hit solely right-handed, Foster said.
This season, Foster planned on switch-hitting the entire spring but due to the coronavirus pandemic, his senior season was suspended. Foster believes he’s a better hitter from the left side of the plate since it’s the side he hits from more frequently in games, he said.
“I have always been able to do things left-handed whether that’s shooting, kicking, throwing, or hitting,” Foster said. “I always messed around with it. My summer coach Tommy Hernandez told me to do it in a game. I went 3 for 3 with two doubles and a single, and he told me to keep doing it because it makes me more valuable.”
Foster verbally committed to Texas Christian University in January 2018. He reopened the recruiting process in October, and about a month later, announced his college commitment.
Foster committed to Auburn in November. He selected the Tigers over Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
His relationship with Auburn’s coaching staff, the staff’s ability to develop talent for the pro ranks and the program’s track record of winning and playing in front of a passionate fan base were major factors in his decision, he said.
If Foster doesn’t embark on a pro career this summer, he will join the Tigers in the fall.
“I fell in love with it,” Foster said. “I realized I didn’t want to stay in Texas. I wanted to see what everything else is like and branch out and meet new people. I also didn’t want to relive high school because half my high school is going to A&M.”
Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.