The surprising success of Tommy Watkins
It's not yet time to completely re-evaluate that position, because Watkins has just 20 at-bats in the bigs, and that's not enough time to really gauge much of anything about a player. However, it's been a very solid 20 AB's -- Watkins is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with 3 walks and 3 K's. Defensively, Watkins has yet to make an error -- although his range factor is very low, suggesting that he might not be making errors because he might not be getting to balls (although in just 6 games, statistical noise may account for Watkins not having had many chances for putouts or assists, which are the components of the Range Factor stat).
If nothing else, Watkins' solid performance so far for the Twins could make things interesting next spring when the Twins put together their infield; if he continues to perform, he's going to put himself into a competition with Luis Rodriguez, Alejandro Machado, Chris Basak, and Matt Tolbert as the teams utility infielder. The situation will be complicated by Nick Punto's role on the team -- if the Twins manage to find a third baseman somewhere, then Punto will likely return to utility duty.
No matter what Watkins' role will be in the future, one thing is certain -- his story has so far been a very good one, the story of a player who has persevered and kept up a good attitude, and finally made good. I wish Watkins well as he tries to prove that his early success with the stick is more than a fluke.
Labels: Tommy Watkins