Binkoski Signs Minor League Deal With Phillies
By Zach Smart
About 5.6 miles from the campus of Quinnipiac University lays a small baseball field at North Haven High school, where Tim Binkoski used to jump on opposing pitchers, rob hitters of extra-base hits in center field, and mow down the meat of potent lineups on the hill.
Binkoski, following a storied four-year stay at North Haven High—where he guided his team to the Class L state championship in 2003, his senior year—trekked 10 minutes up I-91 and quickly picked up where he left off at North Haven. A heavily pursued product on the recruiting circuit, Binkoski started in center as a freshman and evolved into one of the NEC’s top hitters. During his sophomore season, Binkoski’s name was etched in championship lure. The North Haven-bred Binkoski hit .340 to help propel the Bobcats to a NCAA tournament berth.
During the summer of 2006, Binkoski was stung by the injury mosquito. Hampered by a few nagging injuries, Binkoski admitted he didn’t hit the way he should have been in the summer leagues. “I (stunk) for a while,” said a joking Binkoski, sporting a smile outside Primo Pizza in Hamden back in September.
That’s where the jokes end. Binkoski spent nearly the entire fall and winter season getting in tip-top shape for his senior season.
Adopting the mentality and regimen of workout fiend, Binkoski hit the weight room, track, and worked on his swing. During the winter, Binkoski (an all-league basketball player at North Haven) ran full-court games with his alma mater’s varsity team to keep in good cardiovascular shape.
It certainly paid dividends this season, as Binkoski garnered Northeast Conference Player of the Year after hitting a team-leading .424, recording 81 hits, 15 doubles, 39 RBI, and three round-trippers.
Binkoski’s success at the dish also added some extra juice for stat junkies and baseball geeks nationwide, as the senior surpassed a few milestones in the program’s history. Binkoski shattered the single-season and career hits record. He also broke the career doubles record while sporting the nation’s eighth-best batting average.
Binkoski’s baseball career officially hit its pinnacle this week, as he was signed to a minor league contract by the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic right now,” said Binkoski. “It was a childhood dream to play professionally and now it’s a dream come true. Quinnipiac was such an important step in this whole process. “I have to thank Skip (Head coach Dan Gooley) for giving me the opportunity to play for four years.”
Binkoski is expected to report to the Phillies’ minor league affiliate the GCL Phillies of the Gulf Coast League in Clearwater, Fla.