Covering the Bases: Garrett Atkins
Garrett Atkins was born December 12, 1979, in Orange, California. Atkins was drafted out of High School, but elected to go the college route. He was one of biggest recruited players coming out of California, and ultimately decided to attend UCLA. During his time at UCLA, Atkins achieved many accomplishments, such as a 33-game hitting streak while also becoming the first three-time All-American. While at UCLA, Atkins played both first and third base.
Atkins was drafted in 2000 by the Rockies in the fifth round (137th overall). He broke into the majors three years later during the 2003 season. He appeared in 25 games with a .159 batting average with no home-runs. In 2004 he appeared in 15 games, while playing both third-base and left field. Atkins became the primary third-baseman for the Rockies in 2005. He appeared in 138 games, 13 home runs and finishing up with a .287 batting average.
He had his breakout season in 06 appearing in 157 games, 29 HR, and .329AVG. Following this season, Atkins was considered one of the better hitters in baseball. The following two seasons Atkins statics continually declined in almost every category. By the 09 season, Atkins had a total downfall. He finished the season with a horrible .226 avg and a lousy 9 home-runs. He was later benched for his poor performance.
On December 12, 2009, Atkins was non-tendered by the Rockies officially making him a free-agent. Ten days later the Orioles signed Atkins for 1 year $4 million deal with an $8.5 million club option for 2011. With the signing of Tejada, Atkins will be our starting first-baseman. The Orioles are hoping that he will regain his stroke, and return to a middle of the order guy who can hit around 25 home-runs.