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

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl