Local baseball player drafted by Brewers
By Rick Sobey, Staff Intern
HAMPDEN Many young boys dream that one day they will pick up their phones and hear a Major League Baseball (MLB) representative asking for them. Peter Fatse does not have to dream this anymore, since it came true on June 10 during the MLB amateur draft.
In the 24th round of the draft, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Fatse, a 2006 graduate of Minnechaug Regional High School. He recently finished his junior year at the University of Connecticut (UConn), and the Brewers noticed his stellar play.
During this past season, Fatse's batting average was .324, and he accumulated 18 doubles, four triples, 11 homers and 54 RBI. His batting average improved drastically since his first year of college ( he batted .268 as a freshman), and the Brewers decided that he was ready for the minor leagues.
A Brewers representative contacted Fatse to let him know that the organization had drafted him, and he could not have been more ecstatic. "I was really excited when they told me I had been selected," Fatse said. "The chance to have professional experience is awesome. I have been dreaming about it since I was very young."
The Brewers only gave him a few days to decide whether to sign with the club or play at UConn for one more season. Fatse met with a team representative on June 12 and finalized a deal.
After signing the contract, he was sent out to Montana to play in the advanced rookie league. "This will be a great opportunity to play professional baseball," Fatse said.
He will be playing second base for the Helena Brewers ball club, but he has had experience with other positions. He was an outfielder for UConn during the past year. He is the opposite of a picky player; he is quite flexible. "It doesn't really matter what position I play," Fatse said. "I enjoy the infield and outfield positions equally."
Finishing his junior season of college, Fatse was already ranked in the top 10 in three career categories at UConn. These categories included home runs (23), RBI (131) and runs scored (132).
Jim Penders, head coach for the UConn baseball team, talked to Fatse when the Brewers drafted him. It was an exciting and emotional conversation. "We talked about the possibility of beginning his professional career and the possibility of leaving UConn," Penders said.
Even though he will be losing a special player, Penders believes that this draft process is much more sweet than sour. "Whenever your player develops to the point where professionals take notice, it is a happy moment for you as the coach," he said. "Peter has a bright future ahead of him, and I am real happy for him and his family."
According to Penders, it was always easy to coach Fatse. "He was a very mature kid as he entered his freshman year," Penders said. "He showed great effort in the batting cage and weight room. He was a very low maintenance kid; I never had to worry about him after practice."
As for whether Fatse has what it takes to make the major leagues, Penders thinks there is an excellent chance. "If the last three years are any indication, I wouldn't bet against Peter," Penders stated. "As a freshman, he had some tough times, but he learned how to handle them. He has handled failure much better, which is why I think we could see him playing in the major leagues one day."