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  • Minor League - Introduction to Dakota Watts

    Hey everybody, Seth Stohs turned me on to this site. I am going to try my hardest to make sure to get on and blog about the daily life of a Minor Leaguer playing in the Twins organization. I will write as much as possible, hopefully once a week.

    I’d like to start off my introducing myself and giving you all a little background on me. I’m Dakota Watts. I was born and raised in Oroville, California, the son of Buddy and Brenda Watts, and I'm currently 24 years old.

    First, a little baseball background. As a child, I was extremely blessed. Starting at age 5, I was introduced to the game by my father. I was also fortunate enough to grow up in a 2-3 year time frame when there was about a dozen other families as passionate about the game as we were in our community. This made playing baseball super competitive.
    My father also played professional baseball, signing as a free agent out of Cal-Berkley. Although he enjoyed only a short-lived stint in pro ball, I was able to get a great grasp of the game and learn more than most children get to.

    I did very well as I got older, posting great numbers all through high school before I made the decision to go to Feather River, a local junior college. What a year we had! I was our number two starter, and we were the first team in the Golden Valley Conference to post an undefeated 25-0 record! When my coaches decided to leave the following year to coach at Delta Junior College, I followed. It was there that I got the only bad taste in my mouth caused by baseball, the “Yipps.” For those of you who believe they don’t exist, they do! I could not throw a strike to save my life. Even worse, I couldn’t play catch every day. I went from being our number one in the fall to not throwing an inning in the last 3 weeks of games.

    I had to mentally toughen up as a pitcher and person to get over it, which I finally did that summer playing for the Humboldt Crabs. I posted outstanding numbers and worked my way to our number one starter role.

    I committed to DII California State University-Stanislaus. Working harder than ever with a great coaching staff and group of guys, I was determined to become a draft prospect. I heard from a lot of teams throughout the year, but on day two of the 2009 first-year players draft, I was selected in the 16th round by the Minnesota Twins.

    Which leads me to now.

    After playing at every level up to AA, I have had the chance to get to know a bunch of great guys, life friends. Just as much as it is about baseball, I have realized that these days only come once, and getting to know so many other players and creating memories on and off the field is all part of the experience. Hopefully, I will get the chance to play in the big leagues for many years with them!

    So there is the introduction to myself. I will try and keep you guys updated on how things go this next year. One thing I can tell you guys is how hard I am preparing mentally and physically for this long season.

    This article was originally published in blog: Minor League - Introduction to Dakota Watts started by Dakota Watts
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. jeffk's Avatar
      jeffk -
      This should be a cool feature - looking forward to reading more.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Thanks for the post .... looking forward to reading more about your experiences.
    1. WYTwinsFan's Avatar
      WYTwinsFan -
      Awesome--very interested to hear about minor league life.
    1. BCPierson's Avatar
      BCPierson -
      Thanks Dakota great post look forward to hearing more stay away from the "Yipps"
    1. Ricola's Avatar
      Ricola -
      Welcome to TwinsDaily! I look forward to reading your stories!
    1. TPetter's Avatar
      TPetter -
      Quote Originally Posted by WYTwinsFan View Post
      Awesome--very interested to hear about minor league life.
      Even more interested to hear about your MAJOR LEAGUE life.
    1. spoofbonser's Avatar
      spoofbonser -
      how did you get over the yipps? Would you attribute the condition to muscle fatigue followed by anxiety or something else?

      My buddy got a bad case of the yipps in high school. Our coach, probably not knowing enough to recognize this as a baseball "condition" did, in my opinion, the worst thing he could have done. He shut down practice and made him throw over and over in front of everyone. We couldn't help ourselves from being amused. Poor guy never really got over it, fortunately he was a better hockey player.

      I'm just curious. The yipps can get to some of the best players, see Chuck Knobloch, Alex Wimmers etc.
    1. spoofbonser's Avatar
      spoofbonser -
      oh yeah, a side note. after playing horse shoes for about 4 hours at a family reunion, I got a serious case of the Yipps. I couldn't get anywhere near the pin. I was holding on too long and throwing it straight up or I was letting go too early and throwing worm burners. I never throw horse shoes so I figured it was muscle fatigue after 4 hours. That being said, it got in my head in hurry.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I wonder if getting over the yipps involves doing something that gives you perspective, like skydiving or bungee jumping. Or snorkeling around great white sharks. Or being chased through the jungle by cannibals. Or riding a bicycle down the Eiger. Something like that, for perspective.
    1. Dakota Watts's Avatar
      Dakota Watts -
      @ spoofbonser - The "Yipps" for me was doubt inside of myself coming out and showing it self in a physical form. thats about the only way i can describe it and the worse you do the worse it gets its all mental, sometime you just have to take the bull by the horns!!
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