Doesn’t it seem peculiar that two of the three most significant reasons that the 2007 Rockies were victorious and World Series bound have seen their careers completely fall off all of the sudden? Well Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe, who both dealt with dreadful 2010 seasons, have recently just signed in a more comfortable place. Atkins has reunited with former skipper Clint Hurdle in Pittsburgh and Brad Hawpe has signed with the San Diego Padres, a great city, organization, and has some great new teammates.
Not too long ago, after all-star Matt Holliday was traded to the A’s for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith, Dan O’Dowd compared Atkins and Hawpe to Holliday stating that if the underachieving Rockies (at the time) were to trade the duo, they’d want a “Holliday like package” in return.
Well to me, it’s quite interesting how the careers of the duo have completely tailed off, both players earning a non-tender and release respectively. After Atkins got non-tendered, he signed with the Orioles which didn’t go well at all. The former all-star was possibly one of the worst players in Baseball. This was two seasons after Atkins put up four straight seasons of 25+ home runs and 95+ RBI’s.
Hawpe on the other hand, struggled with in my opinion, were mechanical issues. You see, Hawpe’s unique batting stance enables him to generate his power by lifting his whole knee up to a horizontal plain, causing him to have all of his power come down on that knee, but this only works when your knee is lifted as far as it can, which in most cases is that same horizontal plain. Well, in ’10, he lifted it almost halfway up which prevented him from generating his hips in to the ball, which prevented him from using or even getting any bat speed.
Now, both of whom, are now going to enjoy a fresh start in a pressureless organization and city, where they have a chance to regain their value and redeem their respective careers. Both of the Pirates and Padres have good hitting coaches and most importantly, good managers, which may be a reason why the two can enjoy their ’11’s while playing well at the same time. Hec, we all saw how Aubrey Huff and Adrian Beltre had huge comeback seasons. Who’s to say that Hawpe and Atkins can not?
This is an interview with a great guy and a fantastic player by the name of Corey Wimberly. You can find him on twitter @Wimboslice3. He did a great job with this interview and was very explanitory. I hope you enjoy it!
Me: You’re arguably one of the top 5 fastest players in professional Baseball. Talk to me about whats it like to have speed as an integral part of your game rather than power for instance.
Corey: Thanks dave, well speed is something that i think i have always had but it began to develop more so in high school playing football and i realize that i was faster than most other guys but honestly my game speed is so much different than everyone else i think because my competitive nature and the will i have to succeed in this game.
Me: Talk to me about what it was like playing for the River Cats in ’10, a great team that had a great season.
Corey: The 2010 River cats was quite an experience i think at one point during the season we were actually 15 or more games behind fresno and we ended up winning the divisions we had a great second half and its always awesome to play for a winning franchise and try to meet up to the expectations of the fans and guys who played there before you!
Me: You’ve player for the Ghosts, the Nuts, the Drillers, and the River Cats; talk to me about some of your favorite moments and games as a professional.
Corey: Well playing with the drillers in 2008 was one of the best times i have had in baseball simply because i was able to play with two of my best friends in the game Eric Young Jr and Dexter Fowler but a funny story is when i was drafted to the rockies in 2005, coming out of Alcorn State we wore white cleats and so when i made it to casper thats the only color cleats i had and they did not have my size so the clubhouse manger Dennis had to spray paint my cleats and still to this day When I talk to Dexter he still jokes with me about those cleats (lol) but there have been many awesome moments thats just one of the many stories i have.
Me: We can all agree that you are obviously able to contribute at the Major League level and for the past 5 years, you’ve done nothing but hit the cover off of the ball and steal every base imaginable. How does it feel to be in the position you’re in, Major League ready but haven’t been given the chance yet.
Corey: Well when it comes to that subject i am very optimistic that something will happen for me soon. I am a very big believer in God and i believe what he has in store for me is for me and my father still to this day tells me a little phrase that helps me get through the day, (if its to be then its up to me) so with that being said all i can do is work harder and keep my faith in the man up stairs. Men lie and women lie but the numbers don’t!
Me: You played with him in the 2010 season and parts of the ’09 season. What are your thoughts on your buddy Chris Carter? What do you think his potential in the Majors is?
Corey: Chris Carter is a great guy and we got a chance to know each other pretty good the last two years we had been playing against each other for quite some time dating back to when he was with the whitesox and i was with the rockies i think his potential at the next level has no limits he has the most raw power i’ve ever seen and i think he is a right handed Ryan Howard and i was Glad to see him get a chance to play in the Bigs this year he deserved it.
Me: Talk to me about what it was like playing for Alcorn State University.
Corey: Alcorn was a great experience for me, the people there were awesome the schools atmosphere was impeccable just the whole environment it taught me a new rural side of life because at the time leaving jacksonville, florida to go to a agricultural school i didn’t really know what i was getting myself in to but i adjusted well and enjoyed every second there at Alcorn it was the perfect school for me to attend.
Me: What was your favorite team growing up and being drafted in the 6th round, were you hoping a certain team would take you?
Corey: Growing up i liked the cardinals just because of ozzie smith but i also was a braves fan because thats the team i was able to see the most my grandmother always watched TBS i wasn’t watching the draft when i was picked i did not know much about the draft and how it worked i was just shocked that the rockies took a chance on me that was one of the teams i did not talk to so it shocked me but i was soooooo excited.
Me: I imagine one of your dreams is to have your kids see you play at the Major League level (which I think will definetly happen as early as ’11), what can you do, if anything, to prove to the Pirates organization during Spring Training that you are able to contribute in the Majors?
Corey: I think at this point i need to find out from the team what i need to do and just keep working hard and believing that things will work out because i think they know what i can do.
Me: Describe the difference between playing in the Mexican and other winter leagues and playing in professionally in America. What’s the atmosphere, fans, and players like?
Corey: Mexico has been a great experience for me just to see the style of baseball that they play over there it so much different from the way we play in the states but i enjoy the atmosphere and the challenge you are presented with, the different arm angles and the off-speed pitches at any point during at bats you have to prepare yourself for a different style of baseball and i loved it
Me: Last one. A little bit of a different question. You have an empty california roll, and you can put 5 different types of sushi in. What would you put in and would it even taste good?
Corey: I don’t know maybe garlic grab and shrimp with butter sauce over it haha sounds like i should try that.