By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
11:30 AM EST, December 21, 2013
In what ended up being a particularly eventful day in Birdland, it’s easy to forget that new Orioles outfielder David Lough spoke with the local media Friday afternoon.
Lough, 27, was acquired by the Orioles on Wednesday in a deal that sent Danny Valencia to the Kansas City Royals.
Lough has played parts of two seasons in the major leagues, batting a combined .278 with a .308 on-base percentage and a .396 slugging percentage. The left-handed hitter is known as a hard-nosed player and has some speed and on-base potential that didn’t consistently come to the surface in his brief time in the big leagues.
In the minors – where Lough spent seven seasons and played in 677 games – Lough hit .297 with a .349 on-base percentage and stole 96 bases (getting caught 42 times). A two-sport athlete who also was a wide receiver at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., Lough said he didn’t really refine his game until he spent years in the minors.
“I didn’t really have a chance to focus on the game the way I wanted to,” Lough said. “And I think being in the minor leagues and being down there so long and being able to develop as a player has helped me tremendously.”
He said he’d like to show better speed and more on-base capabilities in the majors. He stole 26 bases at Triple-A in 2012, but stole just six of eight in 116 major league games.
“I know I can steal a lot more bases based on the speed that I bring,” he said. “It’s just a comfort level. I really do feel like I could be a 30-bag-steal guy year-in and year-out.”
The same goes for getting on base at a higher clip.
“It’s just like stolen bases, being comfortable where you are at, trying to settle in,” Lough said. “And I definitely feel that number can rise 30 or 40 points.”
With the departure of Nate McLouth via free agency this winter, the Orioles have a hole in the outfield. Although he has played all three outfield positions, Lough said he is most comfortable in left. But, ultimately, he just wants the chance to show what he can do.
“Hopefully, I can bring a little spark to the team with the way I play, the hard work, dedication to the game, all aspects of the game,” he said. “And, hopefully, just be a part of this team and do the little things right.”
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