SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield Cardinals’ first baseman Luken Baker has been taking quite a few trots around the bases the last few weeks.
“Go up to the plate with the right mindset, good things happen more often than not,” Baker said.
If the sound of his bat doesn’t intimidate you, his 6’4″ 280 frame probably should.
Together, they make one of the best power hitters in all of Double-A baseball.
“The more than I can do to help us win, it’s a lot more fun to win than it is to lose.”
And Baker has been doing plenty lately to help the Cards win.
With nine home runs in his last ten games, Baker has been on an absolute tear.
His 23 home runs rank 2nd in all of Double-A.
“I had a pretty good streak my first college postseason, but nothing quite like this.”
And all these long balls certainly save him the stress of baserunning.
“I will say, it is a lot less taxing to jog than it is to run.”
But Baker’s bazooka of a bat might be doing more than just giving fans out here on the berm some souvenirs. He might be making history. Not just for himself, but for the whole club.
“This is actually the most home runs I’ve hit in one year by far. High school, college, pro ball. This is a little bit of new territory for me.”
And if he keeps it up, it’ll be new territory for the Cardinals.
With 23 home runs through two-thirds of the season, Baker’s on pace for 35 even despite the shortened season of 20 fewer games.
A mark that would eclipse the Springfield record of 32 home runs set by Matt Adams back in 2011.
But if he wants to get there, he says there’s no secret to his success, just more hardwork.
“I’m not a huge superstitious person, maybe just a little ‘stitous.’ Just keep the same routine every day and trust that.”