Neuhaus ready for hot corner challenge
Life as a professional baseball player has yet to begin for Milwaukee’s Tucker Neuhaus with a transition to a new position and recovery from a variety of obstacles.
The 18-year-old supplemental second round selection in 2013 by Milwaukee believes he is ready for a change to the hot corner.
“I started getting a really good feel for it down at instructs and got really comfortable with it,” Neuhaus said. “I think in the long run that is where I will be best.”
The shortstop by trade played 27 of 51 games at third base for the Rookie Arizona Brewers in 2013 where the left-handed hitter produced a scorching stretch midway through July.
He additionally made 12 appearances during the Brewers’ fall instructional session in October at the Maryvale Complex in Arizona.
“That is where I took my reps at and I think that is where my future will be,” Neuhaus said.
During his first professional season, Neuhaus demonstrated some of the potential Milwaukee saw in him when he was drafted.
In his eight game hitting streak July 21-23, he collected three doubles with seven RBI and eight runs scored. He batted .406 and also was not caught stealing on three attempts.
“I think everything was coming to form. My timing was down and starting to get the hang of pro ball and the everyday grind like the pitching, velocity,” Neuhaus said. “You get hot, you get cold.”
Additionally, he hit safely in 11 of 12 games from July 21-28 with 11 runs driven in and 11 runs scored.
However, it was a struggling season for Neuhaus after dealing with family tragedy and an injury during his senior season at Wharton High School in Tampa.
“I didn’t play much of the spring of my high school season so I was going into the end of the season without any at
bats so it was kind of tough,” said Neuhaus, who batted .231 with 12 doubles and 29 runs scored in his inaugural season.
Tragedy struck the Neuhaus family in November 2012 when Tucker’s older brother was killed in a car accident in Florida. Tyler was 19 years old and a catcher at community college.
“It was really hard for something like that to happen. It was just a shock but our support system was amazing,” Neuhaus said. “You just never know. Everything is part of God’s plan. Just have to move on and stay strong.”
The younger Neuhaus told Brewers Farm Report him and his brother shared a common goal of reaching the grand stage of baseball.
“It was his dream to play in the big leagues so it was kind of my goal not just for me, but for my brother also,” Neuhaus said.
“We had great friends and our family was there and had a lot of people I didn’t even know that were supporting me and that really helped a lot,” Neuhaus added.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Neuhaus decided to wear his older brother’s number of 19 his final season as a tribute to Tyler.
Despite a trying senior season for Neuhaus and his teammates on and off the diamond where his team went winless during the regular season, Milwaukee still called his name with the 72nd overall selection in June 2013.
“I knew I had the chance to get drafted by the Brewers. They had interest all year and always kept up with me,” Neuhaus said.
The Florida high school senior is prepared for life in Wisconsin as he climbs the organizational ladder and meets his ultimate goal.
“I was born in Minnesota and I lived there for eight years so I don’t think it will be too bad because I still go up there about once a year,” Neuhaus said. “I was up there for Christmas this past year and the cold doesn’t really faze me so I don’t think it will be too hard of an adjustment.”
Neuhaus is optimistic about his future within the Brewers’ system and feels he is just scratching the surface of getting stronger and better on the field.
“When I put on some more weight I definitely think more pop is going to come and I will see the ball go further,” Neuhaus said. “I am already feeling stronger this off season.”
The 6’3” infielder credits spending time at Performance Compound in Florida for helping him gain ten pounds during the off season, stating he weighs in 200.
“I lift down there about five times a week and I see some big leaguers training down there once in awhile,” Neuhaus said.
Furthermore, he acknowledges professional baseball is a much longer season and believes he is ready for a productive 2014 season.
“It is a long season but I haven’t even played a full season yet but I just know that your body does break down,” Neuhaus said.
“It is self-motivation, you got to get up every morning and want it. You just have to be one of guys that wants to be out there everyday,” added Neuhaus.