Gavin Lux Adjusts Quickly
The 2017 season was "a big learning curve" for 20-year-old shortstop Gavin Lux.
The 2016 first-rounder found himself playing more baseball than he ever had in his life—111 games at low Class A Great Lakes—and spending more times on buses than he probably ever cared to.
"The longest one was probably nine and a half hours to Cedar Rapids. I took some Nyquil on the way there and I was gone,” Lux said with a laugh.
The new experiences continued on the field, where the Kenosha, Wis., high school product was asked to play second base. Forty-three of his 111 starts came at the new position.
"What they said is, 'It doesn’t hurt to be able to play either way.' If you can play short, you can play second,” Lux said. "Growing up, I played second until I was 13 or 14, so I’ve had a lot of time on the other side of the base.
"Honestly, it was just about getting more comfortable turning double plays. But other than that, it was ‘been there and done it.’ It wasn’t a big difference.”
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At the plate, Lux hit .244/.331/.362 with seven home runs and 27 stolen bases in his full-season debut, and his performance was roughly average for the pitcher-friendly Midwest League.
"The pitching,” Lux said when asked about the biggest challenge of the MWL. "You’re facing older pitchers who have a better idea of what they’re doing. So if you have any holes or weaknesses, they exploit them a little more.
"You have to be able to make adjustments quicker than in Rookie ball, where mostly you’re facing younger pitchers who don’t have as good of a plan going into the game.”
Lux didn’t even turn 20 years old himself until after last season, so he is still learning his own game.
"I'm just trying be more consistent,” he said. "Try to be the same player every day. Cut down on errors. Try to be more consistent at the plate. Try to hit more consistently and more often, basically. I think that’s part of growing up and getting older.”