TigsTown Q&A: Shortstop Brent Dlugach

Dlugach has made Fifth Third is home in '05

Brent Dlugach wasn't your prototypical shortstop coming out of college; standing at 6-foot, 5-inches, Dlugach has the height of a first baseman. But Dlugach has showed no signs of struggling at his position, and in his second pro season, is turning up his offense. West Michigan Correspondent Deb Ziegler talked with Dlugach about his season and his future with the Tigers.

TigsTown.com: You're into the 3rd month of the 2005 season now—how are things going?

Brent Dlugach: They're going good – our team struggled a little bit earlier but we're starting to come together, starting to win a lot more games. I think we're going to finish strong in the second half.

TT: Have you set a specific goal for yourself this season?

Dlugach: As a team we just want to make the playoffs and then once the playoffs start, the hottest team normally wins. Kind of like last year, they started a little bit earlier but the hot team normally wins it in the playoffs. If we get in the playoffs anything can happen so it's our first goal.

TT: You were on the O-Tigers club in 2004. Have you thought about how you'll progress through the minors?

Dlugach: It's really just get out there every day and do your best and you can't worry about all the other stuff like how fast you get through the minors. If you get out there and play as hard as you can every day it will all take care of itself.

TT: What are you working on right now in your own game?

Dlugach: To stay more consistent with hitting. It's kind of been good some days and not so good the other days – just really to stay more consistent with it.

TT: You are a relatively big guy for a shortstop. Any challenges to that or advantages?

Dlugach: Shortstops these days seem like they are starting to get bigger so it's a positive. (Brent paused a moment and his teammates spoke up to say that "He has great range as a shortstop. Smooth, smooth as silk. We call him "big smooth.")

TT: Both you and Brooks Colvin played SS for the O-Tigers. How has position assignment played out for the two of you with West Michigan?

Dlugach: It's been fun. I know we enjoy playing up the middle together and we talked about it a lot. We almost turn every double play we get a chance to now that he's at second and I'm at short. We're forming one of the better double play combinations in the league and it's been fun.

TT: You are having a solid season at the plate. What's been working well for you there?

Dlugach: I've really worked on hitting to the opposite field. Where as last year, it was my first year, and I tried to pull more balls and that's not really my strength. My strength is going to right field. If I stick to that I feel like I'm hitting consistent.

TT: Who would you say is the toughest pitcher you've faced? Either so far this season or in your career?

Dlugach: College included?

TT: If you want, sure.

Dlugach: Ryan Wagner, who was a first round pick for the Cincinnati Reds. In college, he was at the University of Houston my sophomore year. He's by far the toughest – he's in the majors already.

TT: Who has been your biggest influence career-wise?

Dlugach: Definitely my dad. He played, and after every game I talk to him. About baseball, and just about life – he's definitely had some good advice for me.

TT: What would you like our TigsTown readers to know about the 2005 ‘Caps?

Dlugach: I think we're definitely going to make a push for the second half. We've got a good bunch of guys on the team that really have a lot of character. I think we're going to have a really good second half.

TigsTown wishes Brent the best on the rest of his season.

Deb Ziegler covers the West Michigan Whitecaps for TigsTown.com.

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