Bouncing around the field is nothing new to Nick Loftin.
The former Baylor star began his collegiate career circling between outfield, shortstop and pitcher’s mound. Now, the 32nd pick of the 2020 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals shows similar versatility in Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Loftin spoke to The Athletic’s Alec Lewis about the work he’s put in to adapt to playing in midfield and found the biggest difference is trusting his footwork.
“That was my first step,” Loftin said. “The turns I have to make in the outfield are very different than those in the infield. … There are times when I make my first move and read the ball longer instead of trusting that I made the right move and going after it and getting there and putting it in place. That was the biggest learning curve: making sure I’m confident in the line I chose where I think the ball will land.
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The Travelers have recently moved Loftin back into the infield, where the Corpus Christier native has been making time on second base, third base and the shortstop. But no matter where he’s played defensively, Loftin is working just as hard to rev up his offense and tells Lewis he’s not happy with his performance on the plate. He is currently batting .284 in the season with 45 runs scored, six homers, 35 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.
Around the horn
- Shea Langeliers, Baylor’s former Gold Glover behind the plate, hit his 13th home run of 2022 for Oakland’s Triple-A Las Vegas Club in a 12-4 pound win against Albuquerque on Friday night. Langeliers leads the Aviators in home runs and walks and is second on the team in RBIs.
The 24-year-old Langeliers was traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Oakland organization in March in a five-player trade that brought Matt Olson to Atlanta.
- Former McLennan Community College slugger Josh Breaux also delivered his 13th home run of the season leading the team, taking the Yankees’ Double-A squad 5-2 in the sixth inning to the Double-A affiliate in Somerset the Rockies in the lead.
- Former Baylor ace Cody Bradford batted 11th on June 17 to lead the Frisco RoughRiders, the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, to a shutout victory over the Oakland organization’s Midland RockHounds. The left-hander currently has a 6.71 ERA with a 5-4 record in 2022 for Frisco, starting 13 games and pitching 53.2 innings.
- MCC graduate Chris Martin posted back-to-back scoreless games from the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs this week. The former Highlander pitched the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one-run loss to the Cubs, then returned to record two outs in the eighth inning against St. Louis, holding serve in a 3-0 win booked.
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