ONE STEP CLOSER: David Lucroy
ONE STEP CLOSER: David Lucroy
Milwaukee Brewers / AZL Brewers (Rookie)
Mequon, WI – Following in the footsteps of a sibling always has it challenges, but with Jonathan Lucroy firmly established as a key cog in the new-look Milwaukee Brewers’ line-up, his younger brother David has blazed his own trail. When the Brewers drafted David in the 29th round in 2011, his older brother encouraged him to opt for a college career at East Carolina knowing that the move would help David in the same way that his choice to play for Louisiana-Lafayette helped his development. "I'm a big fan of going to college," Jonathan, a third-round selection in 2007 out of Louisiana-Lafayette, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Unless you're a first-rounder and its life-changing money for a signing bonus, there's no reason to forego the college experience.” That move paid off in 2015 as the Brewers came calling again and drafted David once more (601st pick of the 20th Rd. of 2015 MLB Draft).
As part of his three year pitching career with ECU, David displayed a lively arm when he pitched 16.2 innings for the Chinooks in 2013, recording a 2-0 record with a 3.24 ERA and 15 strikeouts before suffering arm fatigue that ended his summer. The Umatilla, FL native, went on to make 12 starts that year for ECU as the Brewers kept an eye on his progress. "The Brewers know his makeup," Jonathan said. "He's a hard worker and a good kid. I talked to our (scouting) cross-checkers because I wanted to know what they were seeing in him. He's 88-92 (mph), a sinkerball guy with a curveball and changeup. His mechanics are not where they should be, but he touched 95 (mph) in high school. He changed some things around and it caused him to lose velocity. We're going to try to get his mechanics right and get his velocity back up. He's a high-reward, low-risk draft pick."
With the need to improve his mechanics, Lucroy was assigned to the Brewers' Arizona League rookie team where Brewer instructors could work closely with him throughout the summer away from the crowds and hype of minor league baseball. While it can often be a lonely, frustrating struggle, the experience seems to have Lucroy headed in a positive direction with high hopes for the future. Lucroy reported:
1. The next step for me is to use all that I’ve learned in the instructional league where pitching coach Steve “Doc” Cline helped improve my mechanics. More importantly, we worked so much on my mental approach and how I compete against each hitter.
2. My best moment came after a really bad outing – my worst of the year. In my next bullpen session I was told to try a completely different approach. I made a complete 180 and really took off after that.
3. The Arizona rookie league is so completely different from my time at ECU where we often played in front of 5,000 fans. There are NO fans out here and so there are no promotions or fan activities. It’s just baseball and it tests your love and dedication for the game.
4. I found out that I really do love the game and after the struggles I went through, I know I can handle things better with my new approach. I’m anxious to get compete in the spring and I’m excited to play wherever they send me.
Follow Lucroy’s adventure at:
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 140 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.