Wednesday Night, August 8, 2007
LaVelle just reported that Tommy Watkins was called up to the Twins and Brian Buscher was put on the Disabled List. What a terrific story (Watkins' call-up, not Buschers leg infection, that's just eery)! The 27 year old was the Twins 38th round pick in 1998 out of his Ft. Myers high school. Known as The Mayor, Watkins is a very popular player among teammates throughout the Twins system. He has definitely worked his way up the system. Known more for his glove, Watkins slowly advanced through the GCL (2 years), Elizabethon (1 year), Quad Cities - Low A (1 year), Ft. Myers (2 years), New Britain (2+ years). Midway through last season, Rochester was losing infielders to the Twins and called up Watkins who was hitting just .218 in his third year with the Rockcats. Something clicked at that point. He hit .276 in 60 games and showed some pop. He became a regular. This year, back with the Red Wings, Watkins has played nearly every day. He switches between 3B, SS, 2B and LF as well as occasionally DHing. Yesterday, he hit his 8th homer.
I was certain that because of all of this Watkins would get a cup of coffee with the team in September. Buscher's injury made that happen almost a month early. But I couldn't be happier for Watkins. Can he be a solid utility infielder for the Twins? Maybe. Is he better than Luis Rodriguez? It's debatable. Is he better than Nick Punto? Maybe offensively. Will he play a big role with the Twins? Probably not. But seeing the progression that Watkins has shown the last year or two is terrific. You can't help but feel happy for a guy who has put in so much time. As was stated before, most thought that he would become a great manager in the Twins system. Now, he is a big leaguer! I can't even imagine what the conversation was like this afternoon when Watkins was told he was getting The Call. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. I admit, I love stories like this. After ten years in the Twins system, Watkins is being given an opportunity. Who knows? Maybe he will continue to amaze and impress! We can certainly hope!!! But regardless, I know I will be smiling really big when I see Tommy Watkins step to the plate for his first big league at bat! Tommy Watkins exemplifies why I love following the Twins minor league system!
To learn a little more about Tommy Watkins, check out the Q&A that he did for this site way back in February of 2006.
Congratulations Tommy Watkins!! I wish you well!|
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