Lukas has been switching positions more often than a politician seeking to remain popular. He began his pro career as a shortstop, was moved to left field, branched out to center and now is in the Arizona Instructional League learning to be a catcher.
An eight-round draft choice from Missouri (and admittedly one who has never lost his regard for the Cardinals), he's been hampered by injuries in his four-year career. An on-field accident cut him down in 2004 and in 2005 a sports
hernia ended his year early as well. This past season, though, he was healthy and improved his game considerably.
That was particularly true in the long ball department where Lucas began to stir notice. He finished the season with 18 home runs and nine triples while driving in 73 runs. That doubled his previous HR total and his rise from five to nine to 18 over three years shows how he's getting with it.
He also hit a respectable .273 which was vastly better than the .229 he managed in 2005. His problem continues to be strikeouts for he fanned 130 times this year, leading the organization in that department of dubious distinction.
He's always been considered a baseball "rat" - somebody who loves the game and plays it hard at all times. He runs well- he was 14 for 16 in the stolen base department this time - and has a strong arm.
He'll be 22 this month and has grown into a solid 6-0, 190-pounder. If he can make the conversion to behind the plate- and early returns from his sessions in Arizona are promising- he'll add another very imprtant dimension to his game.
In all, he's making progress to the point that he's another who hasn't been touted much but who learning his craft very well.
Under The Radar #3- May Makes Progress
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