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Sounds of the Game: Brendan Katin

[Last updated July 13th, 2009]

You always know when he steps to the plate when the press box at Greer starts playing “Hard Workin’ Man” by Brooks & Dunn.  The song fits Brendan Katin quite well, but not exactly. The lyrics you hear as Katin walks toward the batter’s box are:

I’m a hard workin’ man
I wear a steel hard hat
I can ride, rope, hammer and paint
Do things with my hands that most men can’t
I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I try
I’m gettin’ really good at barely gettin’ b
y

DSC06965.JPG by you.

Katin awaits a pitch from a pitcher for the Las Vegas 51s on May 18th.

The 6’1″, 235 pound, 26 year old native from Fort Myers is certainly a hard workin’ man. In fact, Katin looks like the perverbial jackhammer guy in any Coke commercial. Muscles coming out of his ear lobes.

I’m not sure if Brendan can ride, rope, hammer, or paint but he sure has a knack for homers, doubles, total bases, and several other categories he leads the Sounds in.

And he can surely do some things that most men can’t, as in blast a 94 mph fastball over the top of the CMT guitar scoreboard as the crowd at Greer watches it disapperr into the deep blue Nashville night, heading due east.

It’s the next two lines in the song that makes the listener wonder just how Katin might – or might not – live up to the lyrics of Brooks & Dunn:

I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I try
I’m gettin’ really good at barely gettin’ by

The 23rd round, 2005 draft pick, is playing in his fifth professional season for the Milwaukee organization.  Of his 5-1 career games, the last 186 have been under the watchful eyes of Sound’s fan at historic Greer stadium.

IMG_0134 by you.

His stats are becoming more impressive day-by-day.  In 106 games for Nashville in 2008, he hit .271 and 19 home runs.  In just 80 games so far this year, the hard working man from Fort Myers has already hit 19 home runs, good enough for 2nd place in the PCL.

His effort in 2009 has rewarded him with a visit to the All-Star Home Run Derby – the first for a Sound’s player – and a selection to the PCL All-Star team, his first time for such an honor.

Hardly evidence of “barely gettin by” I would say.

On the personal side, Katin is a likeable guy. I attend most Sound’s home games and he is always one of the most congenial players with fans. He accommodates autograph requests from a myriad of fans, including some who would barely reach his waist line standing next to the slugger.

Brendan is so likeable because he’s so much like the average Nashvillian, a hard workin’ man (or woman). He like P.F. Changs but he does not like lizards. He likes Keith Anderson music and is fond of fishing.

Katin_single_4 by you.

The impactful Katin swing.

Katin is also fond of swingin’.  As in swinging for the long ball.  He averages sending a ball outside the park every 16 at-bats.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that he likes swingin’ so much he also strikes out a lot – albeit usually swing’in.  He averages a strike out nearly every three at-bats.

It is for THAT reason – and the accompanying .314 OBP – that might just keep Katin singing, I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I try, when the early September call-ups come from Milwaukee.

Everyone knows, especially Katin, he has to work on his plate discipline.  He needs to take the first pitch more often.  Earn the base on balls more often. Be patient more.  Wait for his pitch. Cause believe me, when he finds the right pitch, good things happen off his bat.

He is putting up team-MVP numbers this year [all stats as of July 12th].

.271 (7th on team), 19 HRs (1st), 26 2B (1st), 72 RBIs (1st), 175 TB (1st), .314 OBP (9th, lowest of all starters), .565 SLG (1st), .879 OPS (2nd).

His RBI total for 2009 (72) is 2nd best in the PCL, and places him on track for 130+ for the year. He’s also tracking to break the single-season all-time home run record (34) for the Sounds.

me_katin copy by you.

Katin and the author

Katin was recently asked, if you could face off any pitcher, who would it be?

His answer? Nolan Ryan.

Now, knowing some basics of the laws of physics, namely, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, I’d love to see what it would look like for Brendan Katin to light into a 105 mph fastball from the greatest and hardest throwing pitcher of all time. The resulting explosion might just rival the fireworks that light up the Nashville sky over Greer on a warm Saturday evening.

For more info:

Photo gallery of Katin pics taken by AttheOldBallGame.com in 2009.

Read all my blog posts on Brendan Katin for 2009.

Katin’s profile page on the Nashville Sound’s web site

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