Aug 7, 2014; Frisco, TX, USA; Frisco Rough Riders designated hitter Jorge Alfaro (8) bats during the game against the Springfield Cardinals at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Springfield beat Frisco 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday I was given the opportunity to sit down and chat with the Rangers top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro. Alfaro is one of the most talented and fun to watch prospects on an extremely talent laden Frisco team. He has more tools than your average high school Lacrosse team and enough raw power to break multiple scoreboards. Talking baseball with a guy who has a genuine love for the game like Jorge is always a treat. Here is what the 21 year old Colombian had to say when I asked him about his season.
Brice Paterik: Recently you’ve been making solid progress on keeping breaking pitches in the dirt in front of you. What changes in your game have you made to improve that?
Jorge Alfaro: Just anticipate the dall in the dirt. Before he throws the pitch I know when I call a breaking pitch or a changeup in the dirt and be ready to block it.
Brice Paterik: You have spent some time this year working with Pudge (Ivan Rodriguez). What was it like working with him?
Jorge Alfaro: We talk a lot about baseball and about pitch sequencing. We also talk about anticipation. We talk about anticipating with runners on base and how to be a good catcher.
BP: Since the start of this year you have become more disciplined at the plate. What have you changed in your approach at the plate this year?
JA: I just try to be ready for the fastball every time. If I saw some breaking balls or changeups I just try to make that adjustment. I work a lot with my hitting coach Josue Perez in Myrtle Beach and now Jason Hart here. I work on getting in a strong position to hit and get ready to hit the fastball. I know they don’t throw as many fastballs here and they throw me a lot of breaking balls so I have to be ready for that fastball so I can’t miss.
BP: Tell me about your experience this year working with such a talented pitching rotation this year in Frisco.
JA: I learn a lot from them because they have a lot of command of their pitches. They only throw the ball in the dirt some times but it’s usually when there are 2 strikes and we have to throw that pitch there. They really know about sequencing and I can really learn about that from them.
BP: You have a real knack for picking off stray baserunners that get careless with their leads. Would you rather pick off the tying run at third in the 9th inning with 2 outs to end the game or hit a walk off home run?
JA: I would rather pick off the guy at third and win the game. That would be awesome. It feels better because I really like picking guys off on base.
BP: This year you got selected to play in the futures game like last year but you got the chance to play since you weren’t hurt this year. What was it like to represent your home country of Colombia on such a big stage?
JA: I feel very proud because I don’t just represent my country but I also represent my family. I feel really proud and excited because not too many players get to go to that game.
BP: Yesterday you put a dent in the scoreboard during batting practice, have you ever done anything like that before like putting a dent in a car windshield?
JA: I did it 2 years ago in Hickory in Hagerstown but just in BP. I hit the scoreboard but right in the middle and I broke it all.
Here is what it looked like before they fixed it a few minutes before BP on Friday. New owner Chuck Greenburg hinted at buying a new one on twitter after the incident.
Jorge’s face lit up like a kid on Christmas when we talked about him picking off runners. He really loves getting guys who are straying out on a snap throw back to any bag and he does so very well. He was inches away from nabbing a runner out at 1st last night on a strong pick off throw. This was only the second game that I’ve had the privilege of watching Jorge Alfaro in person but he sure is a fun dude to watch. Every player that I have interviewed has gone on to have a nice hot streak afterwards and Jorge is looking to continue the trend after a 2 hit performance last night. The other time I saw Jorge here was when he absolutely destroyed a pitch into the seats in left field for his first AA hit. Also here is my video of Jorge’s 2 RBI double last night. Yes that is me in the back ground trying to get a young scout to chant hip hip Jorge.
Yesterday was a special day in which I got to meet new Frisco owner Chuck Greenburg, as well as the man who introduced me to the beauty of minor league baseball, Mr. Jamey Newberg. Both were very kind, and it was also fun to see Jamie’s Pelicans snagging fly balls in batting practice including one fearless kid staying out there for a Gallo batting practice in which he absolutely unloaded. So you know Jamie, Tepid put 8 grade makeup on that kid so look out for scouts at your next game. It isn’t very often that I get to talk baseball with a unicorn like Jorge Alfaro and what an experience it was.
This was sadly the last interview I will be able to do this season. My first season writing about baseball has been a memorable one and I sure as heck hope there are many more to follow. Now the long long list of thank yous. First off thank you to the FanSided network along with my absolutely phenomenal editors Ben and David for giving me a great opportunity to write for a fantastic outlet about baseball. Thank you to my loyal readers, specifically my grandmother who reads and loves everything I write, and also my buddy Trevor Curtis for reading every article and giving great feedback. Thank you next to my fellow writers at Nolan Writin’ for being awesome, supportive, and for giving great feedback on my articles. Next, thank you to all the incredibly kind writers who I have met this year who have also been very encouraging including but not limited to: Lonestarball.com’s Tepid Participation, WFAA’s Kate Morrison, FWST’s Drew Davidson, and Jamey Newberg (please pass along my thanks to Scott Lucas as well, Jamey). Penultimately, thank you to Frisco’s Alex Vispoli and Myrtle Beach’s Nathan Barnett for facilitating player interviews and helping in many more ways. Lastly, thank you God for giving me the gift of words and the passion to write great things about an even greater game. Thanks for reading this and as usual God bless y’all and don’t forget to keep loving baseball!