My fellow eFriends, I have returned from my sabbatical and will be writing up a few prospect recaps for some of the more interesting Cubs minor leaguers. So enjoy that.
Logan Watkins was drafted in the 21st round of the 2008 draft. He was a HS stud from Goddard KS which is a town as exactly small as it sounds. He was sent off to AZ for his age 18 season and in 107 AB's showed he was advanced for rookie ball. Watkins hit .325/.462/.363 (.414 wOBA, 140 wRC+) while playing 2B and some LF.
The following season he was promoted to the next level, a trend he has followed every single season thus far. In Boise Watkins put up a wRC+ of 118 which is pretty great for a 19 year old. It was pretty much the with a slash line similar to his AZ campaign, high BA, good eye at the plate but little to no slugging. However it was a good enough year that following the season Watkins made it to # 12 on John Sickels prospect list. He primarily stuck at 2B during his time in Boise but the following season in Peoria would see 22 games in CF and 19 at SS.
Peoria was the only stop where Watkins has struggled so far as his BA plummeted to .265. His wRC+ was 97 and he still was showing no power at all so I remember thinking at best he was going to be a utility at some point. However, to his credit he still had a OBP around 90 points higher than his BA. His good approach was still keeping him somewhat productive at the plate and any Cub prospect who can tell balls and strikes is a rarity in itself.
Watkins was promoted to Daytona the following year and while he was no longer even mentioned on Sickels prospect rankings he got himself back on track. His .281/.352/.404 line probably did set the world on fire but he finally was showing the ability to hit for extra bases. He hit 5 HR's and raised his wRC + to 111 in a pitcher friendly league. He also started to be more effective on the base paths stealing at a 21/26 rate.
This year Watkins continued his one level at a time progression spending the season at AA Tennessee. It was his best season so far as he posted a wRC+ of 130 while spending time at CF, SS in addition to 95 games at 2B. Watkins hit 9 home runs and 11 triples on his way to posting a .422 slugging %. He stole 28 bases in 35 attempts and continued his patient approach posting an OBP of .383. He was rewarded for his efforts by being named the Cubs minor league player of the year in addition to picking up mentions from ESPN and the hometown Wichita Eagle as a prospect on the rise.
So now that we recapped what he's done the question is where is he going to end up.
Personally, I think Watkins is the 2B of the future. I enjoy Darwin Barney as much as the next guy but the fact of the matter is he can't hit worth a shit. As soon as he starts making millions in the arb process I think TheoJed finds a new team for the gold glover and promotes Watkins. Since Watkins has continued to play multiple positions at every level perhaps a year as a utility guy could be in the works to acclimate him to the bigs. For me the ETA is late 2013 with him being up for good starting in 2014. I like the fact that he does a little of everything, is a left handed bat and by all accounts is a leader in the clubhouse.
If he pans out he would give us a cost controlled 2B through the through the end of the decade and would be making league minimum through 2016/2017. He could definitely be a part of the next contending core group. Plus he's from KS so that's worth like +20 on the intangible scale.
However, he does not come from an organization like the Toronto Blue Jays so he's got one strike against him already.