Hyper-focus? Hell, who didn’t think Thijs van Leer wasn’t on something?
Lucroy’s stand-out year doesn’t end there. Looking closer, in high-leverage situations—those times when one swing of the bat can change the game—Lucroy is batting .406 in 79 plate appearances.
“I’ve been told by a psychologist before that I have the ability to hyper-focus,” Lucroy said before a recent game in St. Louis. “For some reason I enjoy those situations.”
Talk about clutch hitting not being a skill all you want, but the bottom line is the first-place Brewers are coming through when the game is on the line. Lucroy is a big part of this. He has 23 hits in high-leverage moments, third-most in MLB.
Lucroy said hitting for a high average in a clutch situation is not luck. He also thinks, despite conventional wisdom that clutch hitters do not exist, that there are guys who can be defined as clutch hitters.
“Guys get mad because you can’t quantify that,” Lucroy said. “[Stats people] can’t put a number on that. But I think within the human brain you have an ability to go, ‘OK, I’ve got to get locked in here.’ I just can’t go up there and go, ‘I’m going to do whatever.’ [You have] to lock in and do this. That’s hyper-focused.”
His approach in high-leverage situations, then, comes down to his mental ability, not mechanics or muscle memory. “This game is really more mental than anything,” Lucroy said. “It’s amazing how mental this game can get.”
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