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MLB Draft: Carl Albert's Gavin LaValley trims down as draft stock rises

Once a 270-pound kid limited to first base, LaValley has turned into a 6-foot-3, 220-pound hard hitting corner infielder who is likely to be the highest pick from Oklahoma in this weekend’s MLB First-Year Player Draft that begins Thursday night at 6.
by Jacob Unruh Published: June 4, 2014

MIDWEST CITY — Whenever Gavin LaValley sees an old picture of himself, a simple thought comes to mind.

“I was big,” LaValley said.

The current pictures tell a different story.

Once a 270-pound kid limited to first base, LaValley has turned into a 6-foot-3, 220-pound hard hitting corner infielder who is likely to be the highest pick from Oklahoma in this weekend’s MLB First-Year Player Draft that begins Thursday night at 6.

“Even if I wasn’t going to get drafted or am not going to get drafted, I wanted to do it for baseball and just to get my body in better shape,” LaValley said. “Two-seventy in baseball: That was carrying around a lot trying to go around the infield. I just wanted to get in better shape overall, whether it be for college or pro or whatever, it helped me out a lot in different aspects of the game.”

The bat speed has always been there for LaValley, who has signed with Oklahoma. In fact, some veteran scouts recently told MLB.com that he has the best bat speed they’ve ever seen.

That was evident this season. He hit 19 homers and drove in 75 runs, while batting .539.

But it was just a matter of getting his body in line, which started with eating better, working out more and hiring a personal trainer.

“I would say the first three months is the hardest part,” LaValley said. “Once you get past the first three months, your body just gets in a routine and it becomes a natural thing. If you get in that lazy habit and stuff, it’s just kind of natural until you break.

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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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