I recently had the pleasure of interviewing former Detroit Tigers 3rd-round pick and current prospect, Andre Lipcius. Lipcius plays third base for Low-A West Michigan in the Detroit Tigers organization. Lipcuis is also currently ranked as the 31st overall prospect in the Tigers organization, according to Fan Graphs.
Q: How is college ball different from pro ball?
A: College baseball is more of a team game, in my opinion, now don’t get me wrong you always want to win no matter what level you are at but in pro ball, there is always the fact that you can get moved up or down at any moment. I think having a mentality to stay positive and always want to win is the best way to approach the game of baseball always but pro ball is more individualized in my opinion and everybody is trying to get better in every aspect with a level of freedom that in college you don’t quite have.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with Al Avila?
A: He’s always been friendly to me and is always approachable and a very nice guy. Understands baseball very well and always keeps a level of respect toward every player.
Q: Who would you say is the most slept on prospect in the Tigers organization?
A: That’s a tough question because I’m incredibly biased with my answer because the guys that I call my closest friends in the organization I think are all great ballplayers. I mean you have the prospects who are up there you know like nick, Bryant, Ryan, and cooper but the guys I think that are slept on are Kona Quiggle, Jake Holton, and especially Corey Joyce. Corey did an amazing job in the offseason and has a crazy good work ethic, might have to watch out for those guys coming up.
Q: Who has been your mentor on and off the field?
A: That’s a tough question. A mentor for me is in terms of baseball has got to be the new staff at Tennessee, I spent 2 plus years with them, they completely understand me as a person, accept me as a person and are never afraid to say something I need to work on or give me a push when I need it. Off the field I have an incredible support staff, I have 2 awesome brothers who know how to pump me up and support me through anything. I have a wonderful girlfriend who is never afraid to set me straight when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing and then my parents are and have always been there for me through everything. I’ve also met some exceptional guys that I have gotten to know that our goal-driven and just awesome guys to be around, they know who they are. For me, there is no one person that is my one mentor, just a collection of incredible people that support me and love me.
Also, the staff within the tiger’s organization have been nothing but accepting and awesome to me. I’m lucky to call myself a tiger and have the opportunity to work with these people.
Q: You and Nick Quintana both play third base for West Michigan, is there a friendly rivalry between you guys?
A: You are correct. We never really had a rivalry, when I was sent to West Michigan, Nick was the only person I knew that was sent with me. He was my best friend there, roomed together on the road, at breakfast at Anna’s house diner almost every morning and just always talked about anything and everything. He’s such an awesome guy we never really had a rivalry, just always pushing each other and being there for each other. Pro ball is tough because it’s day after day of baseball, so having him there and being the person he is helped me out a lot and I’m lucky that he was with me up there.
Q: What was your instant reaction to being drafted 83rd overall in 2018?
A: A dream come true man, this is the dream I’ve had since I was very little. I told every teacher I had that I wanted to be a professional baseball play when I grew up and I get to live out that dream. I’ve loved the game for so long, worked my tail off to get there and all the sweat and tears that got put into it were finally realized and I’m so thankful I have the chance to play the game I love.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: Well growing up, my mom being from Chicago, I had always been a cubs fan. So players like Sammy Sosa, nomad Garciaparra, Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano were all guys that I loved watching. Every year I had a different swing as a kid to make myself look like them but just watching how they played the game with passion gave me the hunger and drive to get to that level they were at.
Q: How have analytics impact the way you approach the game?
A: For me, analytics gives me a ballpark idea of how to approach a pitcher when it comes to a scouting report, watching a video and seeing a percentage of tendencies can help give me an approach and have a plan going into the game, now baseball is an anything can happen on a given day game so it can change in an instant but it definitely helps in that sense as well as getting a more in-depth idea of your swing and path and things like that so that’s kind of the only difference I think.
Huge thanks to Andre for the interview! He is truly an inspiration to all young ballplayers! Make sure to check his Instagram out @Alipius13.
Photo: Emily Jones / MiLB.com