RC Interview with David Lough

The Royals earlier this month selected outfielder David Lough out of the Mercyhurst College with their 11th round draft pick. Lough, who rewrote many school offensive records, was the highest drafted player in Mercyhurst history. Upon signing, he headed to North Carolina to join the Burlington Royals. On Friday afternoon, RC spoke with Lough about his overall game and his decision to turn pro.

Royals Corner: First off, David, talk a little bit about what happened [Thursday] night. What's your injury, and how long do you expect to be out?

David Lough: Well, it took place in the eighth inning when I hit a ball to the wall, and a kid dove for it. I came around first base, and as I accelerated off the base, I kind of just felt something in my hamstring. I don't think it's that severe or anything like that. Hopefully the trainer can take care of it for me, and I'm going to work hard and try to get back as quickly as possibly, hopefully in a week or a week and a half.

RC: You've been a professional baseball player for a little over a week. How's everything going so far? Is it everything you expected?

DL: Oh yeah, I'm having a blast out here. It's just real fun, and it's a lot different from college. There are a lot more strict rules and violations that you can get in trouble with. But it's fun, and meeting all the new guys and stuff, it's a blast. And the most important thing is just playing baseball.

Lough hit .404 for Mercyhurst this spring

RC: Talk a little bit about the program at Mercyhurst. You were one of the most successful ballplayers in school history. How do you feel it prepared you for the next level?

DL: I think the program all around was excellent. I never had a problem there. There's nothing that I would change. The coaching staff is awesome, and they helped me a lot to become the player I was. I had a blast there, and everybody treated everyone fairly.

RC: Was it a tough decision to leave school and sign your first professional contract?

DL: Oh yeah, it took me a lot of time to think it over. I had to sit down with my family and my parents to talk about it. But I came to the decision that I thought it was time to leave and move on to bigger and better things, if that's what you call it. So yeah, it took me a little while, and it kind of hit me once I came to minicamp here in Burlington.

RC: Do you plan to finish your education at some point?

DL: Yeah, I actually want to go back in the winter and finish each semester each year to try and get my degree that way. But if it wasn't to work out, I'd definitely go back after my baseball career and finish off whatever I have left.

RC: What was your major?

DL: I'm an accounting major. A lot of people would disagree with my major, but I like it and I thought I was pretty good at math and doing stuff like that. I didn't have trouble with it, and I'm gonna stick with it.

Lough could be a particularly popular guy in the clubhouse come tax season

RC: Could you talk a little bit about what type of ballplayer you are. How would you define yourself as a player?

DL: If I had to look up to somebody and choose somebody who I admire, it would be Grady Sizemore. I try to put my skills up to his level. I'm more of a quick -- I wouldn't say slap hitter, I put a little power underneath the ball -- more of a quick game player, but I try to play smart as well.

RC: What's your approach at the plate?

DL: I don't really have an approach. The coaches here tell you to be fastball ready, and that's what I am. I usually just sit back and play my own little game.

RC: Do you go into each at bat looking for a particular pitch, or are you more of a reaction type hitter?

DL: It's more reaction. Obviously you've got to see what count you're in, and you've got to be ready for the curveball or the changeup or something offspeed. But no, I'm usually more of a reaction type hitter than anything.

Lough drops in a single to left

RC: How about your defense? What are some things you bring to the table out there in centerfield?

DL: I try to bring speed out there. I try to cover as much ground as I possibly can, and put the ball where I need to when it comes to hitting my cutoff man and throwing to the right base. I think that's what I bring most to the table.

RC: Overall, which part of your game do you think needs the most work?

DL: I'd say the base running, I think that's a big part of what I missed since I played football up at Mercyhurst. I kind of missed out in the fall on a couple of things with base running and all that stuff, but I'm getting it squared away down here, and the coaches are helping me out, and it's a great thing for me to pick up. It can only make me a better player.

RC: Well, thanks for talking with me, and I hope you get back out on the field soon.

DL: Thanks a lot.

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