One of the better prospects in all of the Kansas City Royals organization, Richard Lovelady, was kind enough to answer a handful of questions we gave him.
Lovelady is having a very impressive season so far, posting a 1.19 ERA in 30.1 innings. Most of the lefty reliever’s success pertains to his ability to get a lot of strikeouts and groundballs.
You can find him on Twitter @RichardLovelad1
Wilmington is known as a pitcher’s park. Have you noticed this? Why do you think this is? How has it compared with other places you have pitched?
To me, Wilmington can be a pitchers park and a hitters park. There are days that you play games and guys absolutely get into balls and they don’t go out, and there are also days that guys don’t hit balls well and they leave the park. So honestly, I’d say it goes either way depending on the wind. Compared to other parks, I would say the ball does carry very well in the gaps, but in the corners not so much.
With the MLB Draft just finishing, take us through what your draft experience was like.
My draft experience was everything people say it is. Very stressful, your mom and dad pacing around the house just waiting for you to get a call. Waiting and worrying and just wanting someone to call already. It was overwhelming. A dream since I was a kid turned into a reality, just like that.
Growing up, what player(s) did you look up to?
Growing up, a player I would look up to in general was Derek Jeter, without question. Just the impact he had on so many kids. To this day, I’ve never seen another player that kids constantly say they want to be like, besides Derek Jeter.
Having pitched in both college baseball and pro baseball recently, what are were some differences you noticed between the two levels?
I’d say the difference is when you come from college, you have a handful of good players. Where as coming into pro ball, everyone is there because they are good. Nothing is by luck or chance. The motivation is so much higher as a pro player, rather than a college player. Guys are smarter and stronger in pro baseball.
Pitching last year at Idaho Falls, you got to work with former major leaguer Jeff Suppan. What was working with him like?
Working with Jeff Suppan was fun, mainly because th guy has been in your shoes, gone through your level, and honestly keeps everything straight forward as possible. If you ever care to watch an older guy throw bullpens and hit spots consistently and put pitches wherever he wants, head to Idaho and check it out. Just unbelievable.
Throughout your baseball career, who are some people that have had a major influence on you?
I’d say my Dad has been the biggest influence on my life. He’s been through it all. From close Little League games to long nights because of rain delays. Through all of it, my Dad has been right by my side. From the ups in pitching to the lows. He just always told me to work hard and give it everything I had. Not giving in and make people earn their way on base, rather than me put them on base. Hard work from start to now.
You seem to have a pretty great repertoire. What do you feel like is your best pitch?
I’d say fastball is my best pitch. Then slider. Then changeup.
What former/current player would you compare yourself too? Why?
Andrew Miller. Mainly because of the way he throws across his body. He resembles the way I throw.
Favorite thing to do away from the baseball field?
Hang out with my girlfriend.