For the first time since 2013, a Penn alumnus will play in the MLB, as relief pitcher Jake Cousins was called up to the majors on Monday to play for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cousins was put into action right away on Monday night in the first game of a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He started his MLB career off strong, pitching two scoreless and hitless innings and throwing a team-high five strikeouts in a 5-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.
While at Penn, Cousins had a combined record of 20-7 and averaged a 2.91 ERA. His 20 wins rank him third on Penn’s all-time wins list. For his sophomore year performance, he was selected second team All-Ivy, and after his senior year, he became a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection, as well as an All-Big 5 selection.
Cousins graduated from Penn in 2017 and was drafted by the Nationals that same year in the 20th round of the MLB Draft. Since then, he’s played in the minor leagues and has progressed from the rookie league to Low-A, High-A, Double-A, all the way to Triple-A Nashville in late May.
While playing at the Triple-A level, Cousins appeared in eight games and averaged a 2.08 ERA, which appeared to be part of the impetus behind Milwaukee’s move to promote him to the big leagues. Over the course of his entire minor league career, Cousins pitched 89.2 innings, appearing in 55 games and averaging a 2.51 ERA.
Since 1954, there have been only five Penn alumni who have made it to the MLB, excluding Cousins. These include Doug Glanville and, most recently, Mark DeRosa, who retired in 2013.
Additionally, Cousins will become the first Penn pitcher to make it to the MLB since Steven Thomas Adkins, who played for the New York Yankees in 1990, before being traded to the Chicago Cubs and not seeing any more game action.
Cousins joins the Milwaukee Brewers during a time of potential success. They currently hold a 40-33 record and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central. Their bullpen, which Cousins will be joining, is led by two-time NL Reliever of the Year Award Winner Josh Hader, as well as Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger.
Interestingly, the professional sports pedigree in Cousins’ family isn’t limited to him, as his cousin Kirk Cousins is the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings and has played in the NFL since 2012.
The Brewers will play one more game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, where Cousins will potentially have another opportunity to prove his MLB worth.