Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

October 1, 2013

Winkler steps in as assistant at St. Anthony Minor league alumnus now serving as coach

(Continued)

Winkler said it's important to learn responsibility at a young age because you're on your own in college, relying solely on yourself, and if you can't be responsible, “you don't go anywhere,” he said.

The Bulldogs stand at 14-7 overall in the fall and 3-2 in the National Trail Conference as of Monday, with games left against Windsor/Stew-Stras and Altamont.

Having worked his way up to the Double-A level, and hoping to be invited to Colorado's spring training next year, Winkler's young career is an example of patience and responsibility.

Winkler played baseball at Parkland College for two years after graduating from high school and was drafted in the 43rd round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs.

He decided professional baseball could wait and transferred to the University of Central Florida, where he increased his draft stock by 23 rounds.

In 2011, the Colorado Rockies selected him in the 20th round, but even then he said he knew there were a lot of players taken before him.

“That's a late round,” Winkler said. “There's other guys who get picked in the 15th or 10th round and those guys get looks before you do. I've had a lot of luck, but it's all about patience.”

For a high school player, patience means performing to the best of your ability every game because, Winkler said, “you never know who's watching.”

Winkler said he has learned about a different kind of patience during his time as an assistant coach, giving him a new perspective on the game.

“A lot of times, players get caught up in thinking coaches should know everything,” Winkler said. “It's all about patience and realizing that the coaches are there trying to do their best. Baseball is a game of failure. You fail seven out of 10 times and you're in the Hall of Fame.”

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