BRISTOL - Former Bristol Blues catcher Patrick Winkel was named Baseball Americaâ€™s Preseason Freshman of the Year.
In its February preview of the 2019 American Athletic Conference, the publication also predicted the incoming UConn backstop as the No. 1 newcomer heading into the season, in addition to predicting the Huskies as the third-place finisher in the conference.
Winkel, who was ranked No. 331 on Baseball Americaâ€™s top 500 list in 2018, hit .320 in 13 games with the Blues last summer. He tallied 16 hits, including two doubles, one home run and 11 RBI during his stint in Bristol, and he closed his brief tenure with a seven-game hitting streak.
The left-handed hitter was also named to the Futures League All-Star Game and participated in the leagueâ€™s Home Run Derby. He played for the Blues from June 20 to July 21.
The Orange native was drafted in the 31st round of the MLB Draft by the New York Yankees last June but chose to forego that opportunity to attend UConn, where he will team up with his brother, junior first baseman Chris Winkel.
Patrick Winkel was named the 2018 Connecticut Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year and helped lead Amity High School to two Class LL state titles.