Baseball finds Cory Luebke

Baseball wasn't his first sport. But, Cory Luebke realized he was getting pretty good, despite a limited amount of innings at the high school level. Three years later, after being drafted three times, Luebke still has projection.

Talk to us about being selected by the San Diego Padres and the feeling you had going 63rd overall.

Cory Luebke: It was a dream come true. It hasn't all settled in yet. It is something I worked a long time for. It hasn't all sunk in. I am looking forward to getting out there and getting it all started.

Talk about your repertoire of pitches and what speed you throw each pitch at.

Cory Luebke: I throw a fastball, slider, and am working on a changeup. My fastball normally sits 88 to 92 MPH. I am still kind of growing and filled out a little bit last year, putting on another 10 pounds. The velocity started creeping up a little and I think I have a lot of potential yet. I am a long way from where I could be, and I am just looking forward to getting some good instruction and helping the Pads.

You pitched a lot this season – somewhere around 120 innings if I remember correctly – are you worried about the stamina factor going into a second season.

Cory Luebke: I am sure it is something that they will work with me with. They know a lot more than I know. I am just going to be a sponge taking everything in and we will see how it goes. It was a lot more innings than I ever threw before and the last few weeks of the season I got rode pretty hard. I needed a little break here but I got some rest and am ready to out there and get after it.

You mentioned the changeup being a pitch you need to work on. What is the key to getting that pitch to be something you feel comfortable throwing?

Cory Luebke: It will take some bullpen work and me going on the mound and making myself throw it and trusting it. Getting to a point where I have confidence in it and am not afraid to throw it in any count.

Having said that, how do you attack hitters considering it seems you have two pitches you primarily use?

Cory Luebke: My changeup is not awful and I had some starts this year where it has been pretty good, but it has been the pitch that has been most inconsistent.

I usually setup pitches with my fastball because I can locate it pretty well. This is the first year I have had a slider. I started working with it in the off-season a little and it ended up being a decent pitch for me. I think that is one pitch that helped me out this year. I guess setting things up off the fastball and pitching with a feel for the game.

Do you feel like you are attacking lefties and righties the same and what has been the reason for your success?

Cory Luebke: Overall, I located my fastball a lot better. I have been able to make good pitches throughout the count. I usually attack lefties with fastball, slider and righties get ahead with the fastball and mix it up on them late.

You have been drafted three times now. How have you changed since that first time you were drafted out of high school until now?

Cory Luebke: In high school it was probably my third sport. I liked basketball and football. I didn't throw a lot of innings and I guess I was a late bloomer. My junior year in high school I was still under 6 feet. I was a little guy. My senior year I hit a spurt and gained a few inches and have been growing since. It became pretty obvious to me that baseball was going to be my calling. It has grown on me and it is something I hope to do for a while.

One of the things you mentioned early on was getting instruction from minor league coaches – how much can that help you?

Cory Luebke: I guess I the most I learned was during the summer in Cape Cod. That kind of springboarded me into the season. I had a decent summer out there and learned quite a few things. That made a difference between the last few drafts and this one.


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