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Isotope Weeks knows how to get the job done

Drew Weeks’ bat didn’t deliver on Saturday night.

For the 24-year-old Albuquerque Isotopes outfielder who spent the past four off seasons with such odd jobs as being a UPS driver, a plumber and sifting through coffee grounds in a Maxwell House warehouse, it was hardly something to get too worked up over.

Even after an 0-for-4 night at the plate in a game that the visiting Salt Lake Bees beat the Isotopes 9-4, Weeks draws perspective from his faith and the less-than-ideal gigs that have kept him busy the past four offseasons since he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 7th round of the 2014 amateur draft.

“It’s always a little frustrating when you don’t do well because it’s my life and I want to do well more than anything,” said Weeks. “But I also understand that applying that pressure on myself or worrying isn’t going to make me play better.

“And a bad day of baseball is better than a horrible day at UPS or in that warehouse.”

He would know.

Following his collegiate career at the University of North Florida and rookie season with the low-A Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, Wash., Weeks knew he had to get to work. And that didn’t mean just on his swing.

The then-21-year-old Florida native worked that offseason with his dad as a plumber.

As tough as that was, his job in his second professional offseason was a real grind.

Weeks worked at a Maxwell House Coffee warehouse doing what he can only describe as “mindless” work he wouldn’t wish on anyone.

As he describes it, the coffee maker made a mistake and mixed two different blends of coffee together that had already been put into large coffee cans, sealed and were ready to ship off to consumers.

When the error was discovered, Weeks and his best friend, Kyle Bird, a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, were charged with a monumental task.

“They had a warehouse like the size of a Walmart and they had it filled with coffee cans,” Weeks said. “Totally filled. All the way to the roof. …

“(Bird) and I, we’d open up pallets and there were six cans in each. We had to cut the shrink wrap off, open it, pop all the lids off, cut the foil thing out and dump (the coffee) in this giant sifter. It was miserable. It was mindless work for five months. There were millions of cans.”

How did he get through it?

“We made up the Warehouse Olympics,” Weeks recalled. “We had a pallet-throwing contest. We had a contest where we would fling the lids to see how far we could get them. We had a shot-put contest with the cans.”

After his 2016 season at High-A Modesto, Weeks worked as a UPS delivery driver — something he says gave him a ton of respect for delivery men and women. He even got offered a regular management job for $33 an hour, he said, “But I told them I couldn’t commit to that when I had bigger things going on.”

Last year, Weeks had a bit of a breakthrough with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs at Double-A Hartford. His offseason gig before landing this season at Triple-A Albuquerque was at LuLu Lemon, a women’s workout clothes company, that he said “was a lot of fun.”

All of those jobs, Weeks says, only helped him realize not to take for granted the opportunity at hand.

“It’s baseball, man,” Weeks said before Saturday’s game. “I had a game the other day when I went 0-for-5 with a hat trick (three strikeouts in Tuesday’s win over Las Vegas) and the next night went 3-for-5 (with two home runs). That stuff happens. You can’t worry too much about it. Try your best and appreciate it all. That’s just what I’m trying to do.”

 

‘TOPES TODAY: Vs. Salt Lake, 1:35 p.m.

Radio: 610 AM/95.9 FM

Probable starters: Isotopes LHP David Holmberg (0-0, 6.75) vs. Bees LHP John Lamb (0-0, 2.70)

Promotion: Magnet schedule giveaway

Saturday: Isotopes hitters had a handful of baserunning blunders and the pitchers allowed seven extra base hits, helping the visiting Salt Lake Bees to a 9-4 win in front of an announced crowd of 6,121.

Albuquerque baserunners were caught stealing three times, picked off once and made an inning-ending out in a rundown.

Colorado Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman made his second rehab start for the ‘Topes, allowing 3 earned runs on three hits and a pair of walks in 3⅓ innings. Reliever Chris Jensen got touched up for six runs on nine hits and a walk in 4⅓.

Albuquerque’s Jordan Patterson hit his second home run in as many days.

Box Score: Salt Lake 9, Albuquerque 4

Click here for the Pacific Coast League standings.

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