No one at TCU is surprised to see Josh Watson hitting home runs.
But now he’s reached 10.
Watson, an outfielder from Arlington Martin, arrived at that number last week at Penn State, becoming the first TCU freshman with double-digit homers in more than 10 years.
The last TCU freshman with double-digit home runs in a season was Andrew Walker, who hit 11 in 2005.
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The last TCU player with double-digit home runs in a season was Josh Elander, who hit 11 in 2012.
He can impact the baseball when he gets his pitch.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle, on Josh Watson
The Horned Frogs and coach Jim Schlossnagle might have known what they were getting in Watson, the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s player of the year last season.
But Watson hit 11 home runs total in high school. Hitting nearly that many in his first year of Division I baseball?
“It’s hard to say you envision double-digit homers in their freshman year,” Schlossnagle said. “We recognize how strong he is. And he’s a good hitter. He can impact the baseball when he gets his pitch. ... He’s in a lineup that allows him some protection, and he’s done a good job with it.”
TCU career home runs: Royce Huffman, 44 Chris Connally, 40 Chad Huffman, 39 Ryan Dunn, 36 TCU single-season home runs: Chris Connally, 23 (1997) Tom Hardgrove, 23 (1989) Chris Thomsen, 21 (1991) Ryan Dunn, 19 (1997)
He is not the only one. TCU hitters Elliott Barzilli and Evan Skoug each have seven home runs, and every regular in the lineup except one has homered. The Frogs have homered in 29 of 42 games.
It helps that college baseball has found a balance between too many home runs (pre-2010) and not enough (2011 to 2014), thanks to a flat-seam ball introduced last season.
Born a few years earlier, Watson might have had a tougher time getting the ball out of the park.
Guess you can credit him with good timing, too.