As reported by the Star Banner, Ted Beck writes that Mets scouts and coaches recently conducted a private workout for standout lefthanded first baseman, Dash Winningham, who hit .429, with 11 home runs and 36 RBI’s last season while playing for Athletic Director/Coach Tommy Bond at Trinity Catholic.
Winningham, who led Trinity to the Final Four, has signed on to play with Florida Gulf Coast University. The school is most recently recognized as the home of Dunk City, which was given the name when their Basketball team made history in the NCAA Tournament while dunking through their two victories, and also for the White Sox Two-Time All Star Pitcher Chris Sale, who graduated from FGCU in 2010.
Winningham, as noted in the article, not only worked out for the Mets, but he also took part in a private batting practice session at Jacksonville University with Daniel Murphy who is a native of Jacksonville.
Beck shared Winningham’s thoughts on the workout:
“It was awesome hitting with those guys,” Winningham said. “It was all fun and just getting to know them. I hit a couple out too.”
Winningham, has chosen to attend FGCU, because as Beck stats, he wanted playing time and exposure. Also, since the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins use Fort Myers as their Spring Training home and their minor league affiliates also call South West Florida home, he will be showcasing his skills for local professional scouts. A very smart decision for this young man. It would be great if the Mets were able to draft him in June, because it would mean they would add another great talent to their organization, but the young lefty may just have more options at his fingertips if he chooses to play college baseball.
Beck also shared Winningham’s decision to attend FGCU:
“The plan is to start right away,” Winningham said. “And Florida Gulf Coast had five guys drafted last year, so there’s a lot of pro exposure. And the other thing is it’s like a family there. Everyone is so tight.”
Winningham is currently in his senior year and when the baseball season starts in 2014, all eyes will be on the lefty first baseman with almost a definite and exciting pro career ahead of him. So putting up near-like numbers or even better will make his decision to play college baseball a lot harder when the June draft rolls around.
He shares with Beck what could change his mind:
“If the opportunity comes, I’d listen,” he said, “but the focus now is to go to FGCU, play three years and get drafted. But if I have a big season this year and my name is called, that’ll be an option I’ll have to think about.”
It’s great to have options, even if one of those options means jumping right into pro ball. It will be exciting to see Winningham showcase his skills at FGCU, especially since the school is right in my backyard; but whatever decision this young man makes, he will be sure to start his exciting journey towards the majors.
I look forward to following his career and seeing where it takes him.
(Photo Credit - Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner)