Will Vogl, heir of centerfield

Last year, Greg Thomson patrolled centerfield. He led the team in most major offensive categories: homeruns, batting average, slugging percentage, runs batted in, amongst others.

This year, Will Vogl patrols centerfield. He leads the team in most major offensive categories.

He has already surpassed Thomson’s total triples from last year and has a higher slugging percentage.

Does Vogl feel like he has surpassed the star centerfielder that was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round? Hardly.

“It’d be really nice to have him back,” Vogl said.

He added: “They’re big shoes to fill. I’m just doing my best and trying to do as well as he did.”

Whether Vogl has surpassed Thomson is not the question. The really important thing is that he has taken over in the middle of the outfield to solidify a Red Storm team that is currently 26-13.

Last season, Vogl hit .259 with 6 homeruns and 9 stolen bases.

This year, he has taken off and has become not only the leader of the outfield, but the leader of the offensive lineup.

He is currently batting .367 with 6 homers and 9 stolen bases. His on-base percentage and slugging percentage have made jumps of .125 and .163, respectively.

Quite impressive, to say the least.

“[I’m having a] pretty good year,” he says.

Being the best hitter on the team can be a heavy load on a player’s shoulders. He is being counted on to be a consistent producer every day.

“You always feel the pressure,” says Vogl, offering his honest assessment of his role. “[However], we’ve got a good team this year. [Other] guys can pick me up.”

As the leadoff hitter, his responsibility is to get on base and then get around the bases. Vogl understands his role and understands that going outside of it will not help the team.

“As a leadoff batter, you feel you have to get on every time up. I just try to see a lot of pitches and not do too much,” he says.

It’s fortunate for Vogl to have the right attitude and the skills to go with them. His life is baseball.

Since he was about 10 years old, growing up in Pacifica, Calif. as a San Francisco Giants fan, he has been playing and watching baseball.

“Pretty much everything I do revolves around baseball,” said Vogl.

He hopes to continue playing after college but knows that it is an opportunity that he may not be granted.

“I’d love to keep playing but that’s not up to me,” he says.

Until then, he’ll keep worrying about the things that are up to him.

“[I try] to do the right things at the right moments,” he says. “I just try to lead by example.”

Looking at his numbers, he certainly has led St. John’s this year. But the numbers might not be something he is familiar with.

“I’m not a guy that’s going to go in there every day to see what I’m batting,” Vogl says. “It makes you worry about yourself more then winning the games. It’s just stuff that’s not too important to me.”

Perhaps it’s not important to him, but baseball fans and analysts rely on numbers.

So, here’s a few more numbers for you.

Greg Thomson batted .371 in his senior year. Will Vogl is batting .367 on the year.

Thomson is batting .345 this year for the South Bend Silver Hawks, one of the Diamondbacks’ minor league affiliates.

Perhaps if Vogl can keep it up, he’ll follow Thomson to the next level as well.