-The K Zone-
May 21st 2017
Interview By Mike Duffy
Currently the Texas Rangers 18th top prospect Jonathan Hernandez overcame multiple roadblocks in his career before ultimately being signed on Jan. 30, 2013 for $300,000 at the age of 16. Just like the cars in his favorite movies his fastball can reach the high 90s. As a kid and still to this day, people don’t expect him to throw lighting when weighing about 175 pounds. Baseball is in his blood like many other pro-ball players, as his Dad made it to the majors. Here is the story of a boy in the Dominican Republic who is living his dream, but is working harder than ever before to have a taste of MLB life.
Mike Duffy: Do you mind sharing your story about being singed in The Dominican Republic?
Jonathan Hernandez: So as you know I sign in the Dominican Republic in 2013 is a difficult and hard process. Everyday I pushed my mind on the field everyday. I’m pitching you know and it was difficult you know, watching a lot of guys with a lot of talent playing with me. I would say wow maybe they going to sing but I don’t have any chance with those guys here. But I always talk positive to myself that I can be better than everybody. I don’t care what the people say, I know that I can do it better and that what I do every time. I give a self evaluation, and talk to myself a lot! I saw a lot of guy throwing 95MPH when I was 16 years old and I say wow I only throw 86-87 but few years later when I came a pro and I work in the right way I saw a lot of guys of those throwing 90 to 95 and I’m throwing 93 to 98. Some guys told me before that I don’t look like I throw hard because they say you’re too skinny. I only say ok no problem , now I show to those guys what I can do you know!
Mike Duffy: So how did you transition from playing in the Dominican Republic to playing in the United States?
Jonathan Hernandez: I grew up mentally which was the best that I did last season!
Mike Duffy: This offseason what did you work on the most to help you improve?
Jonathan Hernandez: I worked all the time in the bullpen to get better throwing the ball in the spot that I wanted to place it.
Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a Ranger?
Jonathan Hernandez: Being a Ranger is very special! It is a pretty good organization! Well it is not a organization, it is a family. Everybody takes care of one another.
Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?
Jonathan Hernandez: It would have to be getting to watch Lebron James play.
Mike Duffy: Favorite baseball player growing up?
Jonathan Hernandez: My favorite player growing up was my Father!!
Jonathan Hernandez: And when my Dad retired it was Alex Rodríguez!
Mike Duffy: Who was the hardest bater you faced last season?
Jonathan Hernandez: Josh Tobias one guy that was in the phillies organization now he is with the Red Sox.
(the phillies traded Josh Tobias to the Boston red Soxs for Clay Buchholz)
Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite stadium that you’ve played in?
Jonathan Hernandez: My favorite stadium is the affiliate that I play called the blue claws. The stadium is in Lakewood and it is the affiliate of the Phillies.
Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite movie?
Jonathan Hernandez: My favorite movie is Fast and Furious 2.
Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?
Jonathan Hernandez: I always say in my mind that i can do it always no matter what is the result.
Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?
Jonathan Hernandez: I knew that like when I was 15 years old and a half.