His chances on the field in 2014 haven't been quite as plentiful as some imagined when David Lough made his way to the Charm City this past off-season. He is the underdog yet again; a role he has ingrained in his DNA. Check out the skinny below.
Name: David Dennis Lough Number: 9
Born: January 20, 1986 (28 years old) in Akron, OH
Height: 5'11" Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Drafted: 11th round in 2007 by the Kansas City Royals
School: Green High School (Green, OH)
Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA)
Contract: $510,500 in 2014 (Pre-arbitration, Free Agent: 2020)
Became an Oriole: Traded on December 18 by the Royals in exchange for utilityman Danny Valencia
*facts found at Baseball-Reference.com
Walk up music: "I Could" by Yonas
Lough comes from humble beginnings. He grew up in Akron, Ohio; (No, he isn't pals with LeBron) the son of Dennis and Denise. I mean, come on! How adorable is that? Dennis (he goes by Denny) worked at a Goodyear plant that built race tires in Akron for forty years. Denise is, and has been for over thirty years, a cashier at a grocery store in town.
In high school, Lough was a four sport athlete. He would play football and soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. His best sport? You guessed it...soccer! The future major leaguer was recruited by numerous division I programs for soccer. It was his passion. However, the family did not have a lot of money and none of these programs were offering enough in terms of scholarships. Smaller schools, like division II Mercyhurst, really liked Lough's abilities on the football field and baseball diamond. They offered a full ride if he would play the two sports.
He enrolled and became a business and accounting major. It was quite a different route from his siblings, Damon and Danielle, who both studied science. One became a high school physics and chemistry teacher. The other is a chemical engineer.
In the fall, he was the kicker, punter, wide receiver, and return specialist for the college's football team. After practices he would run drills for major league scouts. Sometimes, he would still be wearing his leg pads while taking batting practice or running sprints.
In the spring, he was the starting outfielder and part of the ground's crew for the Lakers' baseball team. The college baseball season starts in mid-February. In Erie, PA, where Mercyhurst is located, that is right in the heart of winter. Rather than allowing the snow to melt, Lough and his teammates were responsible for clearing off the baseball diamond with shovels, trash cans and anything else they could find.
Following his junior season he was named a third-team All-American and selected by the Royals in the eleventh round of the amateur draft. He signed and left school before finishing his degree. Don't worry, he went back in the 2012 off-season and earned a degree in sports marketing.
In the minors Lough was never highly regarded. At his peak, Baseball America had him rated as the tenth best prospect in the Royals farm system. As he stewed away and played season after season at Triple-A Omaha his ranking plummeted before getting his first big league call-up in September of 2012.
He had a 20 game-long cup of coffee with KC that year, which included a hit in his first career at-bat when he singled off of the Twins' (and for a short-time an Oriole) Liam Hendriks.
2013 saw him spend the majority of the season with the Royals. It was a campaign in which he hit .286 with 17 doubles. His glove was superb. For that season, FanGraphs gave him a zone rating of 14.5. As a 27 year old rookie, he didn't receive much hype but did come in eighth place for the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
In December of that year, Dan Duquette and the Baltimore Orioles came calling and he was shipped to the east coast in exchange for Danny Valencia and well, you know the rest of the story.
- His favorite player as a kid: David Justice
- He was a fan of all of the Cleveland-area teams growing up
- Lough is a certified personal trainer
- His body fat percentage has been well noted; it's still 3 percent
- On cheat days he goes for wings or pizza
- His favorite movie: Dumb and Dumber
- He likes Justin Bieber (must've been around Guthrie too much in KC)
- His favorite superhero: Batman
- His favorite TV Show: Dexter
- His favorite cartoon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles