Most youngsters who play the game of baseball dream of the day when they will wear a Major League uniform and play against the best the game has to offer. That dream became a reality for Logan Workman on Monday afternoon at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. where he faced the New York Yankees in a spring training game.
It began for the promising youth league standout in the Soddy Daisy community and continued in high school. He earned a college scholarship to nearby Lee University and his fastball quickly captured the attention of several Major League scouts.
Workman was selected by the Rays in the 7th round of the 2021 MLB June Draft and after beginning last season at Charleston, S.C.
was moved to High-A in Bowling Green, KY and the South Atlantic League. Over the past two seasons he has appeared in 26 games, starting 25 and has posted a 6-3 record with an earned run average of 2.93. At Charleston, Workman had an impressive ERA of 0.77 before being stepped-up to Bowling Green. He pitched in 20 games, starting 19 with the Hot Rods and recorded a 5-3 mark with a 3.49 ERA.
Things started out as usual for Workman when he entered spring training camp in early March. There is no shortage in pitching when it comes to the Tampa Bay organization. He said before the big-league pitchers reported for camp, there were about 75 pitchers already training.
"Once everyone got here about March 15, around 85 pitchers were at camp. We were put in two bullpens at the start of camp, then into (pitching) live batting for one-inning each, about 25 pitches. After that it was scrimmages for one inning every two days. Lastly, we are now into games starters two innings or 40 pitches, second outing three innings 55 pitches. The big focus is getting all pitches consistently in the zone and seeing movement," he explained the pitching process.
Little did Workman know this was working up to the biggest day of his young career. "I found out the day before when I got a call from one of our pitching-head guys. I was just told I would be potentially throwing (against the Yankees).
The suspense continued to grow. "I was not told until the day (Monday) that I would be starting (that day), which was very nerve-racking to me but a very exciting moment.
"Once I was able to throw the first pitch, I started to calm down. It was very cool to see those guys like (Anthony) Rizzo, (Giancarlo) Stanton, and (Josh) Donaldson in the box, actually facing them and not just watching them on TV.
"The Velo (velocity) was very surprising at times but I have touched 98 (mph) before on multiple occasions," he noted. "To see and hear that I touched 99 was very nice, and it showed work payed off during this off season."
He added that all good notes came from the coaching staff and everyone around after the performance. Logan pitched 2.1 innings against the Yankees. He struck out two batters and walked a pair, while allowing one hit and not allowing a run. He is still waiting work on his next assignment.
Workman took some away from his busy spring training schedule to talk about last year. "Last season I felt was a good year. I felt strong through the entire year, felt the first-year bump of staying in shape halfway through, but overall, felt strong throughout and thought my numbers were where they should have been, but could be better," he explained. "This (past) off season was all about being in shape for spring training. Being strong, working on mechanics, and staying through my body throughout each pitch."
The hard-throwing right-hander says he feels he is where he needs to be in the organization. "I think being at the right place at the right time is important, and that is what it is about with a great organization like the Rays," he stressed. "You are where you need to be, the guys (organization) move (players) up and down as they see fit, and I am right where I need to be.
"My agent and I have good communication. It is all about being in the right shape and showing good Velo (velocity) and consistent movement with the baseball. I will go to the right place at the right time," he concluded.