Skip to main content

PhoulBallz Interview: BlueClaws 3B Luke Williams

Luke Williams, image- Jay Floyd
After a troubling start to his 2017 season, third baseman Luke Williams has turned on the offense for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws of late.  In 13 June games, the 20-year-old righty batter has posted a .333 batting average with four doubles, a home run and six RBI.

Through the end of May, Williams sported just a .173 average.  With the first half division title on the line, there's been no better time for the Phillies' 3rd round draft pick from 2015 to turn things around.

Following Lakewood's third straight victory on Thursday, I talked with Luke about his offensive improvements, the team's chances at clinching an early playoff berth and plenty more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

-It was a difficult start to the season for you, but things have been going in the opposite direction in recent weeks.  What has helped you make the improvements?

You know, I'd say my confidence is a lot higher than it was at the beginning.  Slow start.  Nothing I can do about it now.  It's baseball.  So, now I'm just taking it day by day.  Me and (hitting coach Nelson Prada) have been hitting the cage and making some minor adjustments and I'm just rolling with it right now.  I'm just trying to keep it going.

-Is there anything you can speak on as far as those adjustments that you mentioned?

Yeah, you know, mainly it was just being on time.  Being on time for every pitch and if I'm not on time, being early rather than later.  So, I think that was the main thing.  Just a little adjustment with my hands, moving them a little closer, just so I can get shorter and quicker to the ball.  Those were just adjustments that I made.

-At times I might ask guys how they feel taking the step up to a higher level and now that you've turned the corner I would imagine you feel better about it.  Do you feel that it was tough to get a handle on this league or this level?

Um, yeah, obviously, the higher you go the better pitching there is, so you've got to make a little adjustments.  It's not too big, but I think it's more just me sticking to my plan, making sure I have the same approach and stuff like that and you just gotta be consistent.  That's the main thing in this game, just be consistent. 

-I saw you before the game and right now you have the same expressions...pleased, satisfaction, smiles.  If I were to look at you earlier in the season, maybe I wouldn't notice those expressions.  You talked about confidence being a factor and with that can come positivity with the results on the field.  Do you feel that translating that way?

Yeah, absolutely.  And when I think about it now, I've always tried to play this game with a lot of fun and a lot of excitement and maybe I wasn't doing that at the beginning of the season.  You know, I was kind of too worried about, maybe, my struggles.  But, I had a lot of teammates-- my teammates are awesome-- they supported me throughout the whole time.  My manager, my coaches- they all had my back and I think one thing that helped me was Cord (Sandberg)'s saying, It's All Part of It.  You know, it really does help.  That's how you've got to take life.  I mean, just take it day by day.  It's all part of it.

-I wrote about it.  Do you wear the shirts and everything?

Yeah!  I've got two shirts.  Cord was actually my roommate when he was here (before a promotion to Clearwater), so I've got two shirts and Cord wore it all the time.  He wore it everyday to bed, so it's a lifestyle.  

-Closing out the first half here this weekend, the BlueClaws are in the midst of a division title and I playoff berth before the All-Star Break.  I know the team is really into this chase.  Did you guys come in and check out the league scoreboard after the game and see how everyone else was doing?

Yeah!  We've kept our eyes on them and I think Hagerstown was losing today, so yeah, we're paying attention.  We want to get that championship.  Definitely.

-It could be a nice weight off your shoulders too, to lock in a playoff berth and not have to worry about it and maybe relax in the second half.

Yeah, you know, we're not going to relax in the second half.  We're still going to play hard and play our game. But it would be nice to have it the first half, absolutely.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f