Luke Emling crushed his seventh home run for the Adirondack Trail
Blazers this summer. Not only is Emling leading the league in home
runs, he’s running away with the league lead; no other player in
the PGCBL has more than four home runs. The Villanova rising
sophomore has 22 hits this season, and 12 of those hits have gone for
Head Coach Joe Godri isn’t surprised by Emling’s offensive
has tremendous power—as much power as maybe anyone in our
league—and you’re seeing some of the numbers he’s putting up
this summer. The good thing for us is he’s only going to be a
amazing as Emling’s power is, his story might be even more
fascinating. When he was in high school, Emling was recruited as a
pitcher. With an upper-80s fastball, Emling was, and still is, a
promising prospect on the mound. He was thought of more as a pitcher
who could hit, but now he’s asserting himself as a hitter who can
Villanova, Godri did whatever he could to get Emling’s bat in the
lineup. The Wild Cats had a crowded outfield, so Emling was inserted
mostly as a designated hitter, getting time in the outfield only
sparingly. This summer, the Trail Blazers are giving Emling the
opportunity to work on every aspect of his game.
you transfer over to playing daily and you realize that you’re not
getting taken out of the lineup, it becomes a lot easier to become
more relaxed and you’re able to see pitches better and just sit
back and wait on your pitch,” Emling said. “Just being in a
rhythm, it helps you to get more hits, see the ball better.”
also seeing progress in the outfield, where he’s hoping to earn
some playing time next season at Villanova. He has an excellent arm,
and he played the outfield all through high school.
the mound, Godri still sees upside for Emling.
trying to cultivate him into kind of a back end of the bullpen guy.
We’re kind of experimenting with him, maybe dropping him down into
a submarine type guy. He throws hard and he has a good fastball.”
control isn’t quite where Godri would like it and while he
possesses prodigious power, he’s still coming along in terms of
hitting for average. Emling is still a raw player, but he has
tremendous upside on both sides of the game.
now, Emling is enjoying his time in upstate New York, where the Trail
Blazers are drawing excellent crowds this season, their inaugural
summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Going into
next season, the sky is the limit for this powerful prospect.