Since the beginning of the season everyone’s eyes have been on Patrick Winkel, an Amity High Senior whom we’ve watched grow up on the baseball diamond since Little League.
When you hear that he’s the best catcher in the state, well, that’s undeniable. Pat has such excellent instincts that seeing some of the split-second decisions he makes during Amity and American Legion games is mind-boggling.
All season long we’ve seen MLB scouts jockeying for position along the fences in order to get the best view of him in action and to take video clips to bring back to their bosses.
Just about everyone was talking about the prospect of him being drafted by a major league team this year. The term “First Round Pick” came up over and over again. So what was going to happen? Who was going to draft him? And, of course — How many millions of dollars would he be offered to play right out of high school?
What many seemed to put in the back of their minds is that he already committed to play at UConn (with his brother Chris, who’s been making a name for himself with the Huskies).
The only ones, it seems, that didn’t get caught up in the hype was the Winkel family. Pat remained humble and was dedicated to doing everything he could on the Spartans field to bring them to the state championships.
But how many kids have an opportunity to play major league ball, surely he’ll go with whatever team picks him, right?
At the beginning of the week, I talked to Pat’s mom and she said that he had decided to bypass the pros if he was chosen and go to UConn as he’d planned.
Today, Wednesday, June 6, The New York Yankees picked Patrick Winkel (C) Amity High School, in the draft.
Pat will play for the UConn Huskies and continue his education as planned.
You’re a smart young man, Pat, you follow your heart and use your head and we know you will find success in the future.