Interview with Jonathan Lucroy

27 05 2008

Former third-round pick C Jonathan Lucroy was nice enough to answer questions for BrewersNation a few months ago, and it was very well received. I thought it would be fun to have a follow-up interview with Jonathan to see how his time in West Virginia is going. Of course, Jonathan was more than willing to do the interview. He’s someone I’ve really begun to pull for the more I’ve been in contact with him. Here’s what he had to say.

BN: After playing rookie ball in Helena, what is the biggest difference in moving up a level and playing against better competition in High-A West Virginia?

Jonathan Lucroy: Overall every aspect of the game is better. I have to say the pitching stands out the most. In rookie ball pitchers leave the ball up more, as well as have less experience. The pitching will get even better after the draft, just because the teams will be sending their high-round draft picks here instead of to rookie ball.

BN: All of the readers at BrewersNation know that you are hitting the ball well in WV. In fact, your slugging percentage and on-base percentage are higher than last season’s numbers already. How have you been able to adjust to better pitching so quickly?

J. Lucroy: The main reason I think I’ve had some success here is because of my experience in Hawaii. The pitching I saw there was the equivalent of high-a to possibly double-a. To have to compete against that and then come into a full season and compete against low-a pitching is a very big advantage for me.

BN: In our last interview, you said that you wanted to work on your defensive skills first and foremost. How have your game-calling skills and your defensive skills in general improved?

J. Lucroy: During spring training and the offseason I really put a emphasis on getting my defense better. For me to make it to the big-leagues I have to be able to catch, throw, block, recieve, and call a game. As well as hit. The hitting for me has always come the easiest, and really, hitting is tough. So as you can see, my defensive side of the game will get me there, and my hitting will keep me there, at least I hope. This year I really put a pronunciation on working on my throwing. In Hawaii I had a terrible percentage of throwing runners out. During my offseason workouts I worked on my arm strength alot, and so far it has helped me out tremendously here in West Virginia. My mental side of the game or calling pitches, will come with experience. I have to experience it in order to understand it.

BN: Based on your time in WV thus far, give Brewers fans someone to look for in the coming weeks. Who is a potential “breakout player” that you are currently playing with?

J. Lucroy: I would say probably Steffan Wilson. I think he is one of the most underrated players in our organization. He has a great arm, good defensive instincts at third base, and he hits for alot of power. I’ve seen him hit 450 ft shots easily. There are some really good third basemens in our organization, and I think he and Zealous Wheeler both can hold their own very well.

BN: How is life as a minor league baseball player? Is it a day-to-day grind, or do you think of yourself as someone living the dream, playing the game you love?
J. Lucroy: I would have to say both. I’m very passionate about what I do, and I would never trade any of this for enything else, but it does start to grind on you after a while. Last year I played in a total of 173 games counting college, Helena, and Hawaii. I remember thinking during the last two weeks I was in Hawaii how tired and weak I felt. It was very tough, but I would do it all over again if I had to so I can achieve my life dream.

BN: With the exception of Jeremy Jeffress in Brevard County, there has not been a pitcher garnering more praise than LHP Zach Braddock. He started the year in WV. Did you have the chance to catch for him? How’s his stuff?

J. Lucroy: I did catch him, he throws what I heard is called the “invisi-ball.” Hitters swing at it, and it disappears. He strikes alot of guys out because he is short and quick to the plate. Its deception that allows him to have success. I heard the “invis-ball” comparison from the other pitchers on our team. They couldn’t believe how many hitters swung and missed at his pitches.

BN: What is your goal for yourself in the 2008 season?

J. Lucroy: My goal is to continue getting better. I think that if I go out and work hard and try to get better every day, then everything else will take of itself. I know that there are some guys that say they want to hit .350 or hit 20 hr’s or whatever. I’m not about all that, I just try to go out and handle my business the right way and things will fall into place.



45 responses

27 05 2008

Good stuff. Nice to see guys like you get out there and find ways to contact players who are up and coming. Lucroy seems like a real laid back and humble guy like Mat Gamel. Ask him what the invisi-ball is. I haven’t heard that before. There’s been the gyro ball, but that couldn’t possibly be it. My best guess is it’s a nasty cutter. If that’s the case, I hope he progresses and sticks with the Brewers as he moves up.

27 05 2008

I love the interviews!!! Keep it up!

I have big hopes that Lucroy will make it to the big leagues someday. I have seen him play in WV before, and he looks like a solid player.

27 05 2008

Great work on the interview… he has the right attitude and I wish him all the success in the world. Catching is so difficult, especially the amount of games he has had to catch in the last year… wow, 173 games… we think Kendall is overworked, I know Lucroy is young and he needs to get better, but it is such a grind on these players!

28 05 2008
Dan Wiersema

Jonathon’s got a brand new fan in me. Best of luck to the kids. P.S. I also want to see this kid that throws the “invisi-ball!”

13 08 2008
Right Field Bleachers » Blog Archive » In the News (5/27)

[…] – Brewers Nation interviewed West Virginia Power catcher Jonathan Lucroy. […]

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