Whether you like it, hate it, or are apathetic, Garrett Atkins is an Oriole. We've all heard about Atkins' decline, but honestly I don't know that much about his career. He's only played in the National League, and out west at that, so I've never had much exposure to him. In an effort to hear from someone who actually watched him play, I reached out to Russ Oates at Purple Row and asked him a few questions about our new acquisition.
Orioles fans need to hope that 2009 was the bottom of the pit for Atkins. With Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder (who play the positions Atkins can) probably half a season away from the majors, Atkins will need to rebound if he hopes to last in the majors for a few more years. The loss of power is very alarming, and if he doesn't find his stroke again it won't be long until he starts riding the bench in favor of younger talent. The confidence O's management has shown might help Atkins since he played the end of the season knowing he wasn't coming back.
Atkins played first base in college, but any first baseman drafted by the Rockies would need to move to a different position with Todd Helton entrenched there. Atkins has come along way with how he's handled the hot corner, but he's serviceable at best there. His limited playing time at first with the Rockies came because Todd Helton started to receive more rest. Atkins will surprise you every so often with a nice play at third, but Brooks Robinson he ain't.
Atkins stayed with the Holliday family during Spring Training and was a babysitter for Matt's children.
He once hit an inside-the-park home run at Petco Park, something thought impossible. Also, he was Chase Utley's roommate while the two were at UCLA. Oh, and check out the box score for the 29 April 2008 game against the Giants.