Brandon Watson, a California native, was drafted straight from high school in 1999. He spent the next few years going between minor league teams. Last year, Watson had the opportunity to start in the first seven of nine games for the Washington Nationals.
"It was truly something I'll never forget. Having opening day at Shay Stadium in New York, where you watch guys like Darrel Strawberry and other guys that I idolized play," Watson told CapitolDugout.com. "These great players played here and I was there opening day with 55,000 people and it was fun and pretty exciting."
Darrel Strawberry is just one of the many guys Watson looks up to. He is also the godson of former big league outfielder Eric Davis and feels like he models his game after Kenny Lofton. He has great respect for these players and for the speed of the major league game.
"The game is a little faster up there, you have the best guys in the world in what we do up there playing," Watson said. "Things are a little faster like plays, they get the balls that you don't think they would get. Triple-A isn't that far behind but like I said you are competing with the best athletes in the world."
Originally drafted as a 2nd baseman, Watson has made the transition into a great center fielder. While 2nd base will always be his first love, he has gotten use to the outfield and enjoys being out there. He is willing to do any position that would help the team.
"In baseball you're learning everyday so I'm still learning out there everyday and doing what I can to get better," Watson told us.
Last year, Watson was sidelined for a few months with a dislocated shoulder. However, after recovering he has had nothing on his mind but practicing to make himself and his team better. Watson feels he needs to work on his overall performance and game.
"I just basically need to practice being a complete lead off batter," Watson said. "And work on my defense and trying to get to all the balls I can. Making the correct plays and throws in the outfield is very important too, really anything to help the team."
Watson considers himself an aggressive hitter and likes making contact with the ball. When it comes to hitting and his approach to the plate, Watson takes into account something his dad taught him many years ago.
"When I was little my dad use to teach me, if there was a pitch I thought I could hit, to go for it and swing, and that I didn't have to wait for the umpire," Watson explained. "So that's what I try to do when I go up to the plate. I swing at good pitches and even if it's a bad pitch, sometimes I swing, I'm a contact guy so I like hitting the ball and putting the ball in play."
The cold weather, early in the season, made it tough for Watson to get into a routine. However, Watson has taken advantage of the warm weather lately and been able use his legs and speed to help the team out. On the other hand, the change between right-handed and left-handed pitchers has had no real affect on Watson as long as he's in the zone.
"If I'm feeling good that day it doesn't matter who's pitching because I'm in the zone and I am going hit the ball," Watson said. "I don't have a preference; the ball has to come over the play somehow."
Throughout the years, Watson has learned a lot, either from his own experience or by others examples. His drive to better himself and his team is very important to him and has a great outlook for the rest of the season.
"I want to go out everyday and play hard like I have been doing. I leave it all on the field, whatever happens, happens. Whatever is meant to be, will be. I cherish every moment. You never know when you will get the opportunity again, so enjoy it while it lasts."
Watson A Great Team Player
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