Thursday, December 9, 2010

2004 Topps, James Tomlin

#T213 James Tomlin

Here is a card that I got signed in Springdale, Arkansas this past summer. James was playing for the Frisco Roughriders at the time and I was able to get the card signed by Frisco's dugout. I had a hard time getting James' attention, and when I did, he started to look around like I was calling for someone else. When he came over to sign, I asked him if he wasn't used to being asked for autographs and he told me that he thought I trying to gcall for someone else.

James has had an interesting career. He was drafted out of high school by the Twins in 2000. Since then, he has played for four organizations at every level of affiliated minor league ball. But, he has spent the majority of his career playing at the AA level. Of his eleven seasons of pro ball, parts of six of them have been spent in AA. He finally got a taste of AAA this season for the first time and he only hit .143 in 47 at-bats. But for his career, James is a .281 hitter with 27 home runs.

When I look at James' stats and Tim Hutting's (see previous post) stats, I really don't see much of a difference. Yet, Tim has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons while James has played AA ball for the last four. Why isn't Tim in affiliated ball still? The only thing I can think of is that Tim was drafted out of college and James was drafted out of high school. With James being younger, maybe clubs are more willing to give him time to develop? That is the best guess that I can come up with.

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