Watson Having Career Season After Moving Up From Double-A
By Doug Gill/Zephyrsbaseball.com
July 6, 2005
Brandon Watson has been nearly unstoppable since being promoted from Double-A Harrisburg. The Zephyrs' fleet-footed center fielder reached base safely in his first 41 games, setting a club record. Overall he has played in 47 games with the Zephyrs, reached base safely in 45 of the them, and is hitting a robust .360 with one home run and 19 RBI.
Since coming to the Zephyrs, Watson has been a catalyst for the offense. The team is hitting at a .291 clip, good for second in the Pacific Coast League behind Colorado Springs. By being such a successful leadoff hitter, Watson has put other hitters in the lineup in lots of RBI situations.
One of the reasons for Watson?s success this year is his ability to utilize his speed to put pressure on the opposing PCL defenses. His hitting style could be compared favorably to that of Seattle Mariners superstar Ichiro Suzuki. Watson appears to be almost moving out of the batters box and down the first base line when he makes contact with the ball.
Brandon Watson reached base in his first 41 games, a Zephyrs club record
When asked about the similarities in their style of hitting Watson said, ?I don?t pattern my hitting after Ichiro, it is just the way that I learned to hit when I was younger and it has been successful for me.?
Watson?s hitting philosophy has proved successful indeed. He has an on base percentage of .413. ?I usually try to give up my first at-bat for the team and take more pitches then I normally would," said Watson. "It is hard sometimes though because I am a very aggressive hitter. I like to put the ball in play.?
Even when not taking pitches, putting the ball in play has not been a problem for Watson, as he has struck out only 19 times in 203 at bats.
?I feel like as long as I can keep my hands back and my head down I can hit the ball well,? said Watson.
In addition to being a threat at the plate, Watson has also flagged down many would-be doubles in the gaps out in center field.
?In New Orleans the ball tends to hang up in the air and not carry as well," said Watson. "This gives you a chance to run down balls that might be hits other places.?
For Zephyrs fans, Watson?s speed, hitting and center field play have been a real treat to watch day in and day out. And if you come out to a game and look for him, check the bases, because that?s where he is most of the time.