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August 18, 2013Serra MIF/RHP Sean Watkins has seen his stock rise this summer with impressive showings at multiple summer events. After committing to Loyola Marymount, he headed down to Long Beach to play in the Area Code Games. What is LMU getting?
The 5-foot-10, 175 pounds Watkins chose LMU over schools like Cal, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Hawaii. He is being brought in to play in the middle infield and potentially close for the Lions.
"LMU I thought was the best choice for me. Academically, a smaller school would be best for me because the class sizes would be smaller to have a better teacher-student relationship with my teachers," Watkins said. "It would be a better environment to excel in the classroom and on the field as well."
LMU went 24-27 with a 12-12 mark in the West Coast Conference. The Lions had only one player on the roster from NorCal last year, but will bring in Watkins' high school teammate (Matt Gorgolinski) with the 2013 class. They had a pair of players taken in the 2013 draft in right-hander Aaron Griffin (signed) and catcher Colton Plaia.
Watkins was one of the top standouts at the Bay Area World Series and carried it forward to the Area Code tryouts in Stockton. NCP analyst Cameron Schott wrote on Watkins at the BAWS, "Watkins had a great all-around day on Saturday. In two games, he was 4-for-5 with a triple, stolen base, and five RBIs. He showed solid fielding ability with a strong arm at shortstop, but did commit an error. On the mound, Watkins touched 89 MPH but typically sat in the 86-88 MPH range. He also had a nice curveball with a sharp break as a secondary pitch. Watkins tossed two hitless innings and struck out two hitters. He's an athletic Division I prospect who can pitch or play in the field."
Fast forward to the Area Codes and it was a very similar outing for Watkins. "Watkins showed no signs of slowing down from his big weekend at the Bay Area World Series where he was named Most Outstanding Player. On Thursday, he was good throughout the defensive workouts, batting practice and put two good swings together during the simulated game. Pitching wise, he was in the upper 80s and topped out at 89 MPH. Watkins also showed a nice breaking ball."
In Watkins' own words, his success this summer is due to work in the weight room.
"Last fall when I went to the Arizona Fall Classic for Trosky, I topped out at 89 (MPH). For Junipero Serra, I was hitting 86-88. Over the past summer, now I'm consistently 89-91 or 90-92," Watkins said. "It's been a great leap forward throwing hard. I've been working hard in the weight room getting stronger and faster and it's really showing on the field."
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