Press Releases

'Cats sign UTL Blodgett & RHP/OF Watkins to first pro contracts

11/29/2018 7:26 PM -

CONTACT: Jared Shlensky

GARY, IND. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats signed utilityman Gavin Blodgett and right-handed pitcher/outfielder Sean Watkins  to their first professional baseball contracts on Monday.

Blodgett was a four-year starter at NCAA Division III Chapman University and a three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) selection. As a senior in 2018, Chapman slashed .373/.471/.586/1.057 with a team-high 48 games played, 44 runs, 63 hits, 47 RBIs and a .471 on-base percentage. Blodgett also finished tied for the team lead with seven home runs and was second on the team with 11 doubles, two triples and 20 extra-base hits.

As a junior in 2016, Blodgett slashed .348/.426/.559/.985 with a career-high 46 runs, 16 doubles and 22 extra-base hits in 40 games. As a sophomore in 2015, Blodgett slashed .389/.444/.567/1.011 with 42 runs, 61 hits, 14 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 19 extra-base hits  and 38 RBIs in 42 games. As a freshman in 2014, Blodgett slashed .331/.381/.488/.869 with 28 runs, 42 hits, seven doubles, two triples, three home runs, 12 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs in 35 games.

Watkins was named Second Team All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) after finishing with a team-high .322 batting average, 11 home runs, 22 extra-base hits, five stolen bases and a .631 slugging percentage as a senior in 2018 at NCAA Division II California State University Los Angeles. On the mound as a senior, the right-hander finished without a record and a team-best four saves in eight relief appearances. In 9.1 innings, Watkins held opponents to a .200 batting average and allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks and struck out 13 hitters. A native of San Bruno, Calif., Watkins was also a two-way player for the Duluth Huskies in the Northwoods Summer Baseball League in 2018. Watkins slashed .273/.355/.418/.773 with 10 runs, 15 hits, two doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs and three stolen bases in 15 games. As a pitcher, Watkins went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in five games (one start). In 8.1 innings pitched, Watkins allowed eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits and eight walks and struck out seven hitters.

As a junior in 2017, Watkins was selected by the San Francisco Giants in 30th round of the MLB Draft but didn’t sign after being named First Team All-CCAA and Second Team All-West Region. Offensively, Watkins finished with a team-high .368 batting average, .464 OBP, .730 SLG, 1.194 OPS, 64 hits, 17 doubles, 14 home runs, 33 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 127 total bases and 13 hit by pitches in 46 starts.  On the mound, Watkins recorded one save and a 1.80 ERA in four relief appearances. In five innings of relief, Watkins yielded two runs (one earned) on six hits and seven walks and struck out seven batters.

Prior to attending CSU—Los Angeles in 2017 and 2018, Watkins attended Loyola Marymount University as a freshman and sophomore in 2015 and 2016. As a sophomore in 2016, Watkins slashed .256/.304/.368/.672 with 14 runs, 32 hits, six doubles, one triple, two home runs, 16 RBIs and one stolen base in 37 games. As a pitcher, Watkins went 0-1 with a 2.86 ERA and a team-high six saves in 17 games (one start). In 22 innings pitched, Watkins limited opposing hitters to a .218 batting average and yielded eight runs (seven earned) on 17 hits and 12 walks and struck out 14 batters. Watkins was also a two-way player for the Menlo Park Legends of the California Collegiate Summer Baseball League in 2016. Offensively, Watkins slashed .349/.471/.541/1.012 with 31 runs, 38 hits, 15 doubles, three triples, 25 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 12 hit by pitches in 35 games. As a pitcher, Watkins went 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in eight games (three starts). In 18.1 innings, the right-hander allowed 14 runs (five earned) on 18 hits and eight walks and struck out 15 batters.

As a freshman in 2015, Watkins was named a Freshman All-American, per Baseball America, the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association (NCBWA), Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (Louisville Slugger), and Perfect Game as a two-way player. Watkins was also selected to the All-West Coast Conference (WCC) Honorable Mention Team and the All-WCC Freshman Team. On the mound, Watkins went 4-1 with two shutouts and a team-best 1.89 ERA in 17 games (nine starts). In 57 innings pitched, Watkins allowed 14 runs (12 earned) on 41 hits and 23 walks and struck out 49 batters. Offensively, Watkins slashed .266/.331/.455/.786 with 22 runs, 38 hits, seven doubles, one triple, six home runs, 14 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, six hit by pitches and one stolen base in 41 games. Watkins was also a two-way player for Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Summer Baseball League in 2015. Offensively, Watkins went 0-for-4 with a walk and went 1-0 with one save and a 4.50 ERA in 15 games (one start). In 20 innings pitched, Watkins allowed 12 runs (10 earned) on 20 hits and 11 walks and struck out 16 hitters.

Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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