Jesús Ernesto Cota Cardenas
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.
- School Pima Community College
- High School Sunnyside High School (Tucson)
Jesús Cota won one minor league Triple Crown and led another league in RBI.
He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 14th round of the 2000 amateur draft and signed for $60,000. He made his pro debut the next summer with the Missoula Osprey. He hit .368/.476/.625 with 16 homers, 74 runs and 71 RBIs in 75 games for the team as he captured the Pioneer League Triple Crown, tying Jesse Gutierrez for the homer lead. He also led the league in games played, extra-base hits (38), walks (56), intentional walks (6) and OBP as well as assists by a first baseman (52). He was second in runs (trailing Scott Hairston), doubles (trailing Jose Garcia) and slugging (trailing Sam Swenson by .006). He was third in hits, two behind leader Noochie Varner. Cota made the league All-Star team at first base and won the MVP Award. Baseball America named him the league's #2 prospect behind Mike Jones and right ahead of Josh Barfield.
In 2002, with the Lancaster Jethawks, he led the California League with 101 RBI. He hit .280/.325/.441 with 33 doubles and 16 home runs. His plate discipline appeared worse with 38 walks to 121 strikeouts in 540 AB. Baseball America did not rank him as one of the league's top 20 prospects.
He spent 2003 and most of 2004 with the El Paso Diablos. He hit .272/.322/.341 in 2003 while moving to the outfield. He ground into 17 double plays, leading the Texas League. He finished ninth in the TL with a .290 average in the latter season, with a .324 OBP and .451 slugging mark and returning to first base. He again led the league in double plays ground into, with 23. Cota played in the 2004 Futures Game, going 0 for 1 after replacing Andres Blanco at DH.
Cota began 2005 with the AA Tennessee Smokies, where he hit .266/.325/.427 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI and earned a spot on the Southern League mid-season All-Star team before being promoted to the Tucson Sidewinders in July. He hit .214/.248/.333 only in 37 games for Tucson. He was back with Tennessee in 2006, hitting .233/.283/.377 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs despite playing almost every game.
Cota hit .393/.433/.500 as Mexico's first baseman in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as they failed to win a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Jesús tied Dae-ho Lee for 10th in the event in average. He had a big single off of Adam Bright in the 8th inning of the game against the Australian national team to start the winning rally.