Episode 16. @Rojasjr_3
In episode 16 @Rojasjr_3 talks to Sportswinmore’s journalist @mikedeportes about MLB teams interested in him and how the 2020 KBO MVP changed his life. They both spoke about his family baseball background and the grind he took to the minors all the way to Pittsburgh and Kansas City. The Marlins have expressed interest this week in the MVP
Let's talk about your story, how did you start with baseball, and we know you come from a family that has a big baseball background?
You're exactly right, the majority of my family have played baseball. One can say I played when I was in my mother womb, but I was always around the game. I fell in love with baseball in the batting cage, but just growing up with a dad in the majors it kept my drive going.
What was your favorite moment in the game of baseball?
Getting up to bat because my favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr and I also enjoyed watching Sammy Sosa I remember my dad played with him in 97’ because he had that energy every-time he came to the ballpark and the next guy has to be Manny Ramirez love to see that guy bat
Mel you signed in 2010, how was the initial signing?
Very strong emotions I felt like I was going to get called-up quick because I was playing for the pirates and at the time they where a and young team. I was a prospect with Starlin mate Gregory Polanco and Willy Garcia and that just to name the Dominican players they had great talent so it was definitely harder than I expected.
You were in the minors from 2010-2016 how important was the support from your family?
If it wasn’t for my dad with his prior experiences, he kept me level-headed and gave me the support I needed. My father absolutely knew the words that I needed and without him I don’t think I could have pushed through, but also my mom she was a big support system. I was born and raised in Indianapolis and always understood how to speak English, so I was always with my dad for the season
Why did you leave the MLB to play Korean baseball?
In reality when I was with the pirates I was a prospect and then a year I had a great season, but they acted like they did not want anything to do with me. IN 2015-2016 I was frustrated because I really put in the grind, but they were chosen other people over me and then I got traded to Atlanta and I had a new career it was a refreshing start to prove my point and I do not regret it because I have been doing really well.
You are the first Spanish MVP and especially being Dominican you put on for our country how does it feel?
“MVP” just imagine it is the most an athlete dreams of, but the only thing bigger than being an MVP is winning a championship but ultimately we were cut short of that dream by two games. I am super grateful and enjoyed every part of the season. I do not think the season was a fail, I appreciate the fans that I have in Korea
How have you shaped this new team in Korea?
In reality, the only thing that I have changed is the approach in batting style. In Korea, I had to learn how to hit a low pitch constantly and that has helped me with my exit velocity. I love Asia, and I am hoping to stay there, it is a guaranteed contract and I would love to explore Japan and just keeping my options open with spring training.
Check out the interview down below
Sports Journalist for SPORTSWINMORE