Friday, October 16, 2009

Berkman's Path to the Pros

Part of a series from Minor League Baseball is a look at how today's big-name players (I'm hesitant to say "superstars") got to where they are. So who's up today? If you're good at context clues, you'll already know.

Former Kissimmee manager John Tamargo:
I didn't know much about him. I knew he had power, but that was basically all I'd known about him. He ended up being a pretty good outfielder for me. The first I saw Lance, what struck me about him, was him taking BP. He'd hit the ball and it would take off. It didn't seem like it would take off, but it just kept going and going and going. Big, long swings, tremendous power. His presence on the field ... you could tell he'd be a Major Leaguer."

Jim Pankovits (now the manager of Tri-City):
"He just stood out. No doubt about it, he was by far the best hitting prospect in the league. It's always a thrill to see him every Spring Training. I get to talk to him and visit and catch up. He is one of the top five, in my mind, Astros of all time." "

More Tamargo:
"You could tell the way he hit the ball and went about his business, he'd be a successful Major Leaguer. I saw him when he was just a youngster, just starting out, taking swings and almost falling down, to when he got his balance, shortened his swing and had that tremendous power. It's been fun to watch his progression. He was a leader for us back then too. He was light-hearted and kept everyone loose."

Ahh memories of what once was...