(Hopefully) Nate McLouth Is Back
I grew up a Cubs fan and that is how I have always seen myself but I am not one of those fans who loves his team and hates everyone else. The Cubs will always be my team but I also root for players who, I feel, play the game “the right way.” The players I root for are the ones who are diving for balls when they are down by six. The ones who jump into the stands chasing pop ups (but not this way….like this). The guys who always run out ground balls. This are the guys I want on my team, not the kind of player who only seems to play well if they are in a contract year (Yeah I’m look at you Adrian Beltre).
Braves centerfielder Nate McLouth is on my list of guys who play the game “the right way.” I secretly rooted for the guy when he was a Pirate and now am able to openly be a fan after he got shipped out of Pittsburgh to make room for Andrew McCutcheon. Last year though, his first full one in Atlanta, was a tough one. In 85 games for the Braves he batted under .200 and showed almost none of the power or plate discipline that made him one of the games up and coming stars. He always played stellar defense but you can’t have a starter who bats .190 in the pros (I guess, unless he plays first base) and he ended up losing his starting spot.
So far this year I am happy to see a little bit of a resurgence from McLouth. He has won back his starting spot and though his average isn’t great right now (.247) he seems much more comfortable at the plate. Maybe, he isn’t pressing as much. Maybe he hired a personal hitting coach. How am I supposed to know? Do I look like a real journalist? I am just talking about what I’m seeing. Whatever he has did last offseason seems to be helping and he is on a team that is great at developing talent. Hopefully, he will continue to improve because we need more guys like Nate to counter balance all the aloof superstars (A-Rod, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, etc.) that are playing in the league.