Derrick Loveless is primed for success this season

Former all-star struggled in AA and wants another chance

DUNEDIN, FLA — Derrick Loveless is ready to make some noise in 2017.

The Blue Jays minor league outfielder is yet to build on his career season in 2014, but this year he is looking to reminding everyone why he’s a former Midwest Lseague All-Star.

Loveless had a 56 game taste of AA baseball last year where he hit .207, and is doing all he can to get back there.

“This is my contract year, so I have made a lot of strides in the offseason,” said Loveless after batting practice in Dunedin. “(In the offseason) I was working out every day, hitting every day.”

Loveless had his best year in 2014, when he had a batting average of .264 over 119 games for the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays Mid-level A affiliate). He then bested those numbers in 2016 when he hit .266 for the Dunedin Blue Jays (High A) across 49 games.

The Salon, Iowa, native knows that in order to make the leap this year

Loveless is loosening up before batting practice at the Bobby Mattick Training Center (Ben Holmes / Toronto Observer)

he needs to be in peak condition and is confident that he is doing all he can to maximize his physical ability.

“(The organization) gives us a structure of how they want us to workout, but since this is my seventh year I’ve kind of built a routine that I am confident with.”

But as a veteran, Loveless knows that to really have a great year he needs to improve more than just his physical condition.

Throughout his career the left-handed hitter has learned that the emotional side of the game is just as important for achieving success.

“The mental side was something that I didn’t understand how important it was when it comes to playing baseball, you deal with a lot of failures so we don’t really know how to handle it at certain moments.”

Loveless who even after seven years is hungry for success and feels like he has something to prove.

“I just want to get better every day, I am hoping this year will be the best of my career and that I can really show the Blue Jays what kind of player I am.”