Q&A with Trenton Shortstop, Ramiro Pena

"I cherish the opportunity that I have."

In 2005, Ramiro Pena established himself as one of the most intriguing Yankee farmhands. Playing most of the season at AA Trenton at the age of 20, Pena was able to hold his own in his first year in professional baseball. We sat down with the slick fielding shortstop for a Q&A session.

PinstripesPlus.com: First of all, Ramiro, what are your thoughts about your first season in professional baseball?

Ramiro Pena: Well, I really think I did pretty well in my first season. It was only my first season and I believe I did pretty well considering that. I didn't do quite as well as I would have hoped for when the season began. But, I am happy that I got to play in Trenton and play at a high level. And, I just thank god that I was able to do well.

PinstripesPlus.com: Many players speak of how many things they learn in their first season in the minor leagues. What are some things you learned in your first season?

Ramiro Pena: Oh, I learned so many things I think. I learned some things in regard to my batting. I also learned a lot about playing the infield from my coaches. That's what was very important. I learned a lot more about the infield. But, I think learning a little bit of the language here helped me also.

PinstripesPlus.com: The fact that you held your own at the AA level with Trenton is very impressive. But, when the season began, did you ever expect to be playing at that level in this stage of your career?

Ramiro Pena: No, I definitely never imagined that I would be playing there. But, I just have to thank the Yankees for giving me the opportunity to play there. They had confidence in me and I just thank god that it turned out well for me.

PinstripesPlus.com: The overall adjustment to professional baseball is never an easy transition. Was it difficult for you? How would you describe the adjustment?

Ramiro Pena: Well, I already had two years dedicated only to playing professional baseball in Mexico. But, I think since coming over here, it makes it much less difficult to adjust since I played for two years in Mexico before.

PinstripesPlus.com: What are some things you'd like to improve on for next season and beyond?

Ramiro Pena: When I bat, I want to be a lot more successful. So, without a doubt, I want to improve my offensive game the most. I did well in the field, but I just want to keep improving at the plate every single year. That is going to be very important to me in my career. So, I'll work hard to improve that and every other part of my game also.

PinstripesPlus.com: In your mind, what do you think are the most important things for you to do in order to maintain success as you move up the organizational ladder?

Ramiro Pena: Well, the fielding is very important for me to maintain I think. I consider myself to be a good fielder. So, I need to keep the defensive part of my game strong while I continue to improve in other areas of my game.

PinstripesPlus.com: You seem to take quite a bit of pride in being a part of the Yankee tradition. What would it mean to you to wear the Yankee pinstripes one day?

Ramiro Pena: Clearly, I believe that many if not most of the players that play the game of baseball or know about baseball, want and dream to play for the New York Yankees. Therefore, I cherish the opportunity that I have. I am part of a great organization and there is no question that I plan to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity.

PinstripesPlus.com: Obviously, you've worked with many coaches in professional baseball so far. Has there been any Yankee coaches in particular that have been a big help to you?

Ramiro Pena: I had so many coaches that helped me a lot in my first season, actually. There's Andy Stankiewicz, Ty Hawkins, Rob Ducey, and many more also. All the coaches have really helped me a lot and I believe I will continue to have great coaches every season.

PinstripesPlus.com: Now that your first season in the Yankee organization is over, what are your plans for the off season?

Ramiro Pena: I will be in the gym to try to put on a little weight and muscle. I want to arrive at spring training very strong because it is what the Yankees suggested that I do in the off season. So, I'm going to do what they tell me to do and get stronger for the 2006 season. But, I am also going to study English a lot more so I can speak better also.

PinstripesPlus.com: It is rather out of the ordinary to see a first year player of your age start at such a high level in the organization. So, do you have any idea as to what level you may be playing at next season?

Ramiro Pena: I really am not very sure. It could be Trenton, but I really don't know right now. I probably won't really know for sure until I get to spring training and play my best.

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