Jordan Luplow Makes Final Push

23-year-old outfielder trying to make roster as final outfielder.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 23, 2018 - 10:58 am
Jordan Luplow

93.7 the Fan

Young outfielder Jordan Luplow came into camp with a shot to not only make the team, but compete for playing time in left field.  Then came the trade for Bryce Brentz, then it was the brief Michael Saunders experience, then the trade for Corey Dickerson.  Couple this with a slow start and Luplow is now battling for the final bench spot.  Not that the stats early would doom him. 

“I don’t put a lot of emphasis on the slow starts,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Grapefruit League results.  “Who had a fast start last year?  You don’t even remember.”

“What I like is that he’s created momentum.  He’s gotten better as the camp has moved on as far as timing his swing, directionally hitting the ball.  I think we are seeing the guy that we saw throughout the minor league system last year put his foot down, get his swing off and get some air underneath the ball at times.  It’s fun to watch.”

Luplow was hitting .120 eleven games into spring, but has hits in five straight games and four homers in March to go with eight RBI.  Luplow said he tried to stay consistent with his approach and not get into bad habits looking for a quick fix.

“Keeping that confidence every day, knowing that you can keep up with these guys, I think that was a big thing for me,” Luplow said.  “You know I had a little bit of success for a couple of weeks (in the majors).  And then ups and downs which are natural, it’s going to happen.  Having a little bit of success there was helpful for me knowing I can play at that level.”

Luplow said he tries to talk with veterans every chance he gets, and not just about hitting.  But really get to know them and in turn, they understand him.

“It helped a lot, especially comfort level for me in the locker room,” Luplow said.  “I was able to get to know these guys on a personal level; their families, what they like, what they don’t like, what makes them tick.  For me, that’s a big thing.  When I’m not comfortable, that’s when I start pressing or have problems.”

A third round draft pick in 2014, Luplow made a big push last year, hitting a combined 23 home runs between AA and AAA and hit three homers in 78 at bats with the Pirates.  One of the traits that allowed Luplow to succeed, is the ability to deal with pressure.

“You gotta embrace what is going on at all times and just have fun with it,” Luplow said.  “Not making it too serious cause that’s when things don’t become fun and you start getting into problems.”

Decisions are looming in Bradenton as Luplow says he just worries about “controlling the controllables”.

“That is the upper guys problem and my job is to make it hard on them to deny me,” the 23-year-old said.  “I’m just out here to compete and work on my craft.”