David Lough spent seven years with the Kansas City Royals after being drafted by the team back in 2007. After enjoying a breakout year in the major leagues last season, Lough was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on December 18th for third baseman Danny Valencia. Bleacher Report caught up with Lough at Summer's Fitness 24/7 near his hometown of Akron, Ohio to talk about the upcoming season.
Bleacher Report: For Orioles fans who have never seen you play, what are you bringing to their team?
David Lough: I bring a lot of dedication to the game. I play hard, I'm one of those gritty players who will take the extra base when I can. I'm always trying to make plays for my pitchers in the outfield. I'm just one of those type of players who will go full speed at all times. Even if it's just a ground ball in the infield, I'm always going to be one of those guys who hustles it out. I try to play as smart as I can and as hard as I can.
BR: What was your initial reaction upon hearing you were traded this offseason?
DL: I was kind of shocked at first. Once they (Royals) picked up (Norichika) Aoki in the outfield, my agent told me there was a possibility it would happen. Being with Kansas City for seven years, it's one of those sad/exciting opportunities for me, just kind of having to develop new relationships from those I had with the Royals. It's part of the business and I take it as a new opportunity for me to show the fans in Baltimore and the organization what type of player I am. Hopefully I can come and help the team in many ways.
BR: Have you been to Baltimore or talked to anyone within the organization?
DL: I haven't been to Baltimore yet, but I've heard great things about the city. I've talked to a couple people within the organization and the front office about the transition and what type of expectations they have for me. It's just a matter of getting comfortable now. I'm looking forward to Fan Fest and getting to know a lot of Baltimore fans.
BR: What are you most excited about concerning the upcoming season and your Orioles career?
DL: I'm just excited about the opportunity to play with the Orioles. They have so many great players, such upside and potential of making a playoff push and even getting into the World Series. I'm excited to come in and show everybody what I'm capable of doing and just winning games. That's what it comes down to, we want to win and make that push into the playoffs and make the city of Baltimore happy.
BR: Where do you spend your offseason?
DL: I spend my offseason back home in Akron, Ohio. I come home and see family and friends in the short time that I am home. I'm always training and trying to get better as a player.
BR: What kind of training do you do to prepare yourself for a 162-game season?
DL: I've always taken my training seriously. I have a strict regimen that I do. I've had a trainer, Tim Fitzpatrick, for three years now, who I work with on strength training, explosive training, more athlete-type training that will get me better on the field. Off the field I have a strict nutrition plan that I stick to and haven't strayed away from in quite some time. I feel good, I feel like I'm getting stronger and getting to be a better player overall.
BR: Would you rather hit a home run or rob a home run?
DL: I'd probably rather rob a home run. Being able to keep points off the board and helping out a team defensively is better than hitting a home run with my style of play. I'm more of a defensive guy, a guy that's going to take that chance to rob a home run. I'm not going to hit a ton of home runs depending on what park I'm in. I know Camden Yards is a great park to hit in, a lot better than Kansas City because of the dimensions.
BR: Can you compare your playing style to someone who's currently in the major leagues or someone you watched growing up?
DL: A lot of people compare me to a David DeJesus-type player. When I first got to Kansas City and came up through the system, David was there and I always looked at myself as that type of player. He's a gritty type of player who does the little things right and helps ball clubs win.
BR: What is your favorite baseball memory of either your little league, high school, college or pro career thus far?
DL: I would have to say the first championship of my pro career. It was in low A with the Burlington Bees. Just that moment, you know, I never won any state titles in high school or national championships in college. So once I got to see what it was like to get a ring and celebrate with a team like that, it meant a lot to me. It really sunk in to my memory when we won that.
BR: Growing up, who was your favorite baseball player?
DL: My favorite player was David Justice. He played for the Indians for quite some time. I was an Indians fan growing up, being from the Akron area. He was one of my favorite players because of his stance, the way he hit and the way he played the game.
BR: If not for professional baseball, what would you be doing for a living?
DL: I would probably be training athletes or the general public at a gym. I take my training really, really seriously. I actually have a certification in personal training right now that I did on my own. I'm not going to stop doing that, I'm going to go after another certification here soon, It's something that I enjoy doing. Just being in the gym and getting better as an athlete and as a healthy person. I'm trying to live a long life and the only way to do that is to nourish your body with the best possible food and working out. It's something I take to heart.
BR: Is there anything else you would like Orioles fans to know before you hit the field this spring?
DL: Just that I'm a hard-working, dedicated person to this game and they should expect to see somebody flying around on the field, having fun and still loving this game.
Vacation spot: Sedona, Arizona. I like to hike and there's a lot of great hills and sightseeing there.
Movie: Dumb and Dumber. I'm excited for the sequel.
Food to eat when on a cheat day: Wings.
TV show: Dexter.
NFL team: Cleveland Browns.
NBA team: Cleveland Cavaliers.
Superhero character: Batman.
Band or musician: This is a tough one. I don't listen to a ton of music. I listen to a lot of different things from rap to hard rock. I've actually gotten into a little bit of Justin Bieber.
Cartoon: Would Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles work here? (Editor's note: yes.)
It's very clear that Lough is dedicated to his craft. He spoke very passionately about his workouts and keeping his body in the best possible shape he can for the upcoming season.
Lough is someone who plays the game the right way. He hustles through every ground ball and always gives his body up in the outfield to make the spectacular catch. Lough showed great professionalism after being traded from the only organization he's ever known, and now faces a shining opportunity with his new club.
With the Orioles' current outfield situation, there's a great chance the 28-year-old could win the starting left fielder job. Given Lough's speed, defense and passion for the game, there's no reason to believe he won't.