Interview OF Cleveland Indians Franmil Reyes


Baseball is back July 23 ! In Episode 12 of “talking with the stars” brought to you by Sportswinmore’s Journalist Mike Rodriguez. @mikerodriguetv talks to Dominican OF for the Cleveland Indians @franmilreyes34 about his career in the Majors and Minors. He talks about his grind in the minors and how one meeting changed his life and how ready he is to play again this year. @franmilreyes talks about his real estate business and how easy it was for him to learn the American language.

Where are you from?

"I was raised in Samana Grande de Palenque."

Who did you idolize growing up?

"In my neighborhood they were a lot of players that were coming out we had an older league were you had big stars come and play, and in my family everyone had a bat. Our house is right next to the stadium David Ortiz would come by and play softball, so we would always see it and it motivated me."

Franmil how was your economic household growing up?

"Yes, my father worked and died when I was five years old. When he died my family received a pension, but there came a time when it was hard for my mother we have three brothers, and she would do anything possible to have a better life. My older brother had a different father, and he lived in the United States, so he went and had a better life at 12 years old. On my hand, my father passed and I always had to help out selling beans and avocado. When my brother turned 18-20 he had a girlfriend in Palneka, and they would sell empanadas in the store and my sister would open the store in the morning and I would play until 2 and then I would go to the store afterward to help out."

When did you find out you had the talent to be successful?

"When you are a kid or you an older adult, you find out if you have the talent at a young age. At first, when I was little I was scared of the ball and I did not have the confidence. As soon as I turned 12, I was a neighborhood legend. I was a phenom in my neighborhood everyone knew I hit the ball, the hardest my cousin would take me to the side, and I would work in the morning 5 am to workout practice and then later work with my mom and go back out to at night to workout with my cousin. When people saw that I could hit the ball outside the park, everyone started to notice. What one has to understand whatever god has planned for you, he will never take it away. I have seen kids sign at the age of 20 sign minor leagues and everyone in the neighborhood would tell them to quit that they are too old. If you can’t see your own future and you give up on your (self) than it is different but everyone has their own path. Not everyone in the world going to be your Feliz Tati, Mike trout, Juan Soto."

What age did you sign?

"I signed at 16 with the San Diego Padres. I was very happy with the signing date it was in July and I signed right before my birthday. I had friends who already signed, so I was very anxious waiting for my chance and I kept working and the padres noticed me. I had a try-out and signed the next day for 600,000 and was very happy I called my boss and my whole family came in a van, and we celebrated and at that moment I knew I could provide and protect for my mother."

What was your first purchase?

"Mike, the real question is what did she do. My mother was in control of everything, it was very hard for us, but how the song goes “ we are good” my mother loved construction, and she built over here in the Dominican Republic. We have 32 houses and now we rent them out. I signed in 2011 and I bought a gold chain in 2014. I invested my money in property, my first car was a Chevy Tahoe. I got to the big leagues in 2018 and every house we paid for that's where my checks were going. I grabbed my money and took out a loan to help out my whole family, my immediate family was living off my salary but I knew I had to create a business to take care of my uncle of my uncle's kid and my aunts who also have kids. I knew that I had to do something other than baseball to change my whole family life. Mike, I know where I am from I am not scared of being poor I know how poor feels. I know I can conduct my business and play baseball with the grace of God."

Before coming to the United States where did you play?

"In 2012 I played in the Dominican Republic in a summer league I played here and then a year after I was playing in the United States I batted 279 and hit 4 home runs and that's when I was skinny and stolen 14 basses.

Framil when you got to the United States, how did the US culture treat you

I already knew about the US I had my residence there my brother would always teach me the American culture, the music, movies, and books. When I first got to the United States I was never embarrassed or shy with the culture I loved it and had a lot and I respect it I wanted to be a part of the culture."

How long did you last in the minors?

"I was on my seventh year, and I was not really on the radar. I became a beast in 2016 and then in 2017 avg 259 25 homers and that is when everyone in the majors started to look at me. I remember I was playing just for fun and I knew I was playing in the minors for a long time and I talked to Freddy and asked him how long did it take you to put you in a position to focus and go to the big league. And in 2016 I focused train different and I kept my mouth quiet and started playing, I lived and breathed baseball and it was not a three-hour job anymore for me. I remember one time I saw Manny talking, and he said I do not need to talk when I play and I finally realized that as soon as this practice starts you focus on your swing everyone knows you have power, we all have power but to actually focus on your swing helped change my career. When I got to Cleveland I had 27 home runs with 47 RBI 82AB and I looked at my self like a man when you take it, serious life will start to change."

Where were you when you received the news that you were going to the majors?

"I was in Reno in triple AAA in Arizona and that day someone was pitching, but he was with Boston, and he was a high prospect for millions of dollars. And the first bat I had a triple and then the second I had a walk and the third at-bat I hit another triple to bring the runners home, and we lead the game. My manager called me to the office with the hitting coach and what a moment I said wow thank you god this is what I worked for and I finally made it. I called my mom we suffered so much in life, so I had to share it with her. I need to be by myself I went to Washington and hit a home run and then the Dodger hit another home run and then the next series I Hit another four home runs and had a total of 6 homers I called my Mom and said Mom I am here to stay, and she went back to DR.”

How was it when you got traded from San Diego?

"I signed with San Diego for 2011, and I was with them for nine years until 2019. I was very sad not for the change but I bought land there I also grew up with Franchy Cordero, we both signed contracts there so it was very tough leaving friends. So when I moved to Cleveland For the first time they came in with open arms, I personally noticed Carlos Santana for the first time Francisco Lindor. The American ballplayers Really accepted me they knew I couldn’t sleep my first night and with all the support Francona has given me with me and my family has been very special and I will never forget."

Who gave you the best advice in Cleveland?

"Something that I love the most in Cleveland is the teammates not applying in pressure with you, but if they see something going on they will say something. Santana said I have to watch more AB so keep hitting the ball the way you do but if I notice something I am going to be here to help. There was one AB where I kept swinging at high pitches and Lindor told me if you keep swinging at those bad pitches they will keep throwing you them."

Check out the interview down below

Sports Journalist for SPORTSWINMORE

Mike Rodriguez

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