[Sahadev gives us a humorous take on one of the Cubs' more interesting prospects - 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, Logan Watkins.]
There are many ways to judge a player’s value. Recently, one of the Research Paper Finalists at the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference highlighted the importance of players with positional flexibility. This immediately got me thinking about a player in the Cubs’ minor league system on whom I’ve gotten numerous good reports, Logan Watkins.
Watkins is an athletic, left-handed bat who can play four positions (second, third, shortstop and center) competently. A strong base-runner who has shown a knack for getting on-base (.372 career OBP in 475 minor league games), Watkins lacks the gaudy power numbers. However, he has shown an uptick in extra-base hits in the past few years, posting a career high in doubles (20), home runs (9) and slugging percentage (.422) last season.
But, alas, it turns out Watkins may have a fatal flaw: his palate. In a severely underreported story (kudos to Carrie Muskat for unearthing this disturbing news on Watkins), it turns out that Watkins is a culinary monster.
He starts by trashing a mainstay at every breakfast table:
Oatmeal took the cake (as the worst).
All right, maybe that’s not so bad. Oatmeal is mushy and if milk isn’t added it can be kind of dry and tasteless, especially if it’s just plain oatmeal (which is what Watkins had). If he had apple cinnamon or raisin, date and walnut oatmeal and still complained, then we’d be heading down a slippery slope of evil.
Blueberry pie was a close second.
Here’s where it starts to get a little worrisome. Blueberry pie is just a hop, skip and a jump away from apple pie. And, well, if you don’t like apple pie, then you may as well just go back to Russia, you commie. I mean, the song goes, “Baseball, hot dogs, APPLE PIE and Chevrolet.” I’m willing to let you slide on the Chevrolet, but apple pie? No way. You better suck down some Chicago dawgs (sans ketchup), polish off some sweet-ass apple pie, and go hit some dingers, or you’re off my prospect list.
Chocolate milk or yogurt would be the only two I’d consider (eating again). The berries were OK.
Apparently Watkins and my two-year old son agree that yogurt and chocolate milk are pretty awesome. Although, I’m quite confident my son would pick a fight with Watkins for saying berries are only ‘OK’.
Up to this point, I’m just having fun and games, people. I don’t really expect Watkins to build, then get into a time machine and head back to Communist Russia because he doesn’t like blueberry pie. But from here on out, I’m serious (not really). I can’t put up with this type of foodie fascism:
Just on strictly appearance, I wasn’t a fan of guacamole. I’m still not a fan. It had no taste. That’s probably the last time I’ll try it.
Guacamole? Tasteless? I’m dumbfounded. Ok, ok, fine, I’ll give him a pass. Apparently he had a bland batch of guac, it happens. So Watkins favorite food must be something with sublime flavors. We gotta be talking some exquisite sauces, delectable spices and the like, right?
My favorite food is bread, like a roll from ‘Texas Roadhouse’
A roll? From Texas Roadhouse? That entire sentence makes me wince. Guacamole is ‘too bland,’ but a roll really gets you going? Oh, the flavor overload from bread.
On Monday, Watkins was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. If you talk to anybody in the Cubs front office, they’ll likely tell you that he’s still well-regarded in their eyes. They’ll likely add that he’s someone they expect to be able to contribute to a winning club in multiple ways for years to come.
But don’t be blinded by the company line. It’s clear Watkins’ taste buds will falter at the upper levels. His prospect status has been dinged by the stunted growth of his palate. That’s probably why he was cut.