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An Interview with C Francisco Pena

For this week's interview I was lucky enough to speak with St. Lucie Mets catcher Francisco Pena.  It was an interesting chat, we spoke about his foot injury, playing winter ball and having a former Major League All-Star catcher as a father.  Most interestingly he seemed pretty aware of his situation in terms of waning support as well as exactly the things he needs to improve on to turn that back around.  Overall, he was a really good interview, lots of excellent answers and his english is near perfect.

For the audio from that interview click the 'Play' button below or click this link.

Click on past the break to read a few of his responses.

Rob:  Why don't you tell me about playing baseball as a kid, were you always a catcher?  That sort of thing.

Pena:  Yeah, I was always a catcher, I always wanted to be like my dad.  I'd put my leg out to the side and try to squat down as low as I could.  I just had fun you know?  When you're a kid you like to play every position but I always tried to be like the leader of the team.  Being the catcher is like being the quarterback of the team so that was my whole idea with playing catcher.

Rob:  What do you feel are your biggest strengths and your biggest weaknesses as a player?

Pena:  My biggest weakness right now is staying healthy you know?  I've never been injured before and so now I'm just trying to be healthy.  My strength is my catching.  And I know I can do a really good job hitting if I get those walks in and try to get a little bit more of an idea of my strike zone.

Rob:  Ever since you first signed, scouts have said "This guy might be too big to stay behind the plate especially once he gets older and he gets even bigger."  How do you feel about that?

Pena:  You know at the beginning of my career they used to say that and it was true but I've been working on my body and it's been much better now.  I've really been working on it you know?  They can all see what I can do now.  I've got really high expectations for what I can do behind the plate and now everybody knows what I can do behind the plate catching.