Say Hey to Willie Bloomquist
The Royals added a versatile player to the puzzle today by signing free agent infielder/outfielder Willie Bloomquist, a veteran of seven seasons, all with Seattle.
Bloomquist batted .279 in 2008 (71 games). Despite limited playing time, he has reached double digits in steals in four of the last five seasons. He has 71 lifetime steals in 87 attempts (82 percent). Willie can play all of the infield and outfield positions. Since 2006, he is the only Major League player to play at least 30 games at second, short, third and the outfield.
Willie is a native of Bremerton, Washington, and a graduate of Port Orchard High in Washington. The Mariners drafted him for the first time in the eighth round of the 1996 draft, but he chose to accept a scholarship to Arizona State University. Bloomquist attended ASU for three years and helped the Sun Devils reach the College World Series championship game in 1998. As a junior, he was named both the Pac-10 Player of the Year and an Academic All-American. Willie also gave up his scholarship so fellow Sun Devil Andrew Beinbrink could return for his senior year. Seattle selected Willie in the third round in 1999, and he had been in the Mariners organization since that point…until today.
Bloomquist will have a short commute to the Spring Training complex in Surprise as he resides in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and two daughters. Welcome Willie!