In 2010, the now 24-year-old Lakewood native led St. Edward High School to a state baseball title and was then selected in the eighth round of the June draft by the hometown Indians. The catcher worked his way through the Indians system with the Carolina Mudcats, Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Lake County Captains. Last season, he appeared in 67 games for the double-A Akron RubberDucks.
Tough Call: Lavisky starred as St. Ed's varsity quarterback his sophomore and junior seasons but chose to focus on baseball his senior year. The decision was the toughest of his life. "People may think that's a little crazy, but St. Ed's people take that stuff serious — and I love football," he says. "Once baseball worked out the way it was supposed to, it put things into perspective for all involved."
Hero Worship: Lavisky lived and died with the Tribe teams of the '90s. Now when he comes to work during spring training, his former idols are his coaches. Last spring, he got bunting advice from Kenny Lofton. He admits to being starstruck. "The best thing to do is to act like the new guy and don't say much," he offers. "[You're] sweating bullets with nerves, but you gather yourself and work."
Routine Swings: Lavisky and Strongsville native Anthony Gallas played together with the Lake County Captains in 2011. Both also saw significant playing time for the RubberDucks last year, when Lavisky says he started to find his way at the plate. "[Gallas has] been a huge factor in my success," Lavisky says. "We know each other's swing so well that all it takes is a few words and we can snap right out of a [slump]."
Plate Service: Lavisky hangs out in Ohio City and the Warehouse District, but his favorite spots are all of Michael Symon's restaurants. "Gotta keep it in the St. Ed's family," he says with a laugh.
12:00 AM EST
March 27, 2015