Cooper Kinney '21 Featured on Elite Extra Edition Card

Cooper Kinney ’21, the 34th overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft, is being featured by Elite trading cards as one of the top draft picks and prospects from the past year.

The card, featuring Kinney in his Baylor uniform, is part of Elite’s Extra Edition and includes Kinney’s signature on the front. There are only 20 Cooper Kinney Elite Extra Edition cards made, each numbered and personally autographed by hand. Kinney signed each card and sent them back to Elite for distribution. He is also featured by other trading card companies, including the more traditional Topps and Donruss.

Kinney signed with the Tampa Bay Rays after being chosen in the supplemental first round of the 2021 MLB draft. He is a smooth left-handed hitter who batted .480 with 10 home runs, 19 doubles, 50 RBI, and a .967 slugging percentage during his senior season at Baylor, and he had two doubles, a homer, and six RBI in the 2021 state championship tournament. Baylor won the state title in three of the four years that Kinney was on the team and was the state favorite for another in 2020 before the season was lost to COVID pandemic restrictions. Kinney decided to forgo a scholarship at the University of South Carolina to sign with the Rays.

While at Baylor, Kinney received the Mr. Baseball Award, presented by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, honoring him as the top high school player in Division II of the TSSAA. Kinney was also named Gatorade’s Player of the Year in Tennessee and was picked as a pre-season All-American by both Baseball America and Perfect Game USA.

After being drafted, Kinney worked out at the Rays’ training facility in Port Charlotte, Fla., during the final months of the 2021 season. He was later invited to the team’s instructional league before coming home to the Baylor campus for the remainder of the off-season. He is currently working out in Baylor facilities, awaiting his first Spring Training as a professional in March.

Kinney expects to be assigned to the Rays’ A-level minor league club in Charleston, S.C., this spring, but he could get a chance at Advanced A in Bowling Green, Ky. A promotion to AA would place him with Montgomery (Ala.) of the Southern League, a move which would mean a few trips to Chattanooga when the Biscuits visit the Chattanooga Lookouts.