For The Tribune
Youth learn to play baseball with different methods, and for Seymour’s Luis Munoz he learned the game with a Wiffle ball and bat.
“I started with a Wiffle ball and bat in the backyard every day when I was 4 years old,” Munoz said. “I played my first pee wee league game when I was 5.”
The recent grad played baseball all four years for the Owls, including three on the varsity team.
He made a position between his freshman and sophomore years.
“Coming into high school I was a middle infielder, I played shortstop my freshman year for the JV team,” Munoz said. “My sophomore year I saw an opening in the outfield on the varsity squad and starting working for it right away. I proceeded to start the last three years of my high school career in center field.”
Munoz has made some outstanding catches in centerfield, and he said he watches the pitch and the batter to try and get a jump on the ball.
“When reading a baseball off of the bat the first thing you notice is the hitter’s timing and where the ball is pitched,” he said. “Both of these things are in clear view from center field. The next thing you must make sure to do is take your first step back when you hear the crack of the bat.
“Lastly, the idea that helped me the most was, sprinting to a spot before the ball got there. I would drop step either left or right and take off on a sprint, and make the effort of getting around and squared up to the baseball.”
He said concentration is the key to having successful at bats.
“When approaching the batter’s box, I always try to clear my head of any thoughts and just play the game relaxed like I’ve done my whole life,” Munoz said. “I always aim to hit the first strike I see. 90 percent of the time the pitcher will throw you a fastball on the first pitch to try to get ahead.”
Munoz said he tries to stay patient in the box.
“I consider myself to be a sound, pitch-by-pitch hitter,’ Munoz said. “I look to help the team in any way possible when I’m up to bat, whether it’s with anything from a bunt to a double. I’m a hitter that pitchers would consider a hard out.
“The most important thing I took out of hitting at the varsity level was, don’t overthink, just see the ball and hit the ball.”
Munoz said he thoroughly enjoyed home games.
“There is no place better than American Legion Field,” Munoz said. “I’ll never forget hitting on the field after school, blasting country music — which was always my favorite. My favorite away field would have to be McBride Stadium in Richmond.”
Munoz will attend Indiana University Kokomo this fall and will play baseball there.
“The best thing about baseball is that any team can beat any team on any given day,” he said. “Nobody ever has a major advantage in the game of baseball. Whoever plays better on that given day, is who wins.”
Name: Luis Munoz
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Jorge and Yolanda Munoz
Sport: baseball 4 years
Athletic highlights: 3x All-County first team, 3x .500 club award, 2015 Owls Baseball Gold Glove
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite musician: J. Cole
Favorite Movie: Step Brothers
Favorite team: Chicago Cubs
Favorite athlete: Javier Baez