Diomendes Lopez is making his way through the half-season levels of the Oakland A's system. The 22-year-old catcher is in his first season at the short-season level after two years in the Dominican Summer League and two more in the Arizona Rookie League.
The native of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic has developed a reputation for his defense behind the plate. Offensively, Lopez showed promise last season with Arizona, hitting .266 with a 774 OPS. This year, Lopez is batting only .200 but he does have four homeruns, a total that ties him for the most on the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Donald Moore spoke with Lopez during a recent Vermont roadtrip to Troy, NY.
Donald Moore: Hi Diomendes, how is this year going for you?
Diomendes Lopez: Really good you know. I feel good. It's a new team for me, but right now in the game, I'm dragging a little bit, but I feel good. It's been a good team and good teammates and it's been really good for me this year.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
DL: I want to get a good season and I want to do a good job in the field. And I want to go to the next level.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ball player?
DL: My defense. I feel good playing defense and right now with the bat, it's up and down a little bit, but I feel really great with my defense.
DM: Any pregame routine?
DL: I catch bullpen and I do the team pregame warmups.
DM: Favorite thing to do off the field?
DL: The fans. I like the fans.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DL: My favorite team is the Yankees. But right now, I like Oakland. They are giving me an opportunity.
DM: Favorite player?
DL: Robinson Cano
DM: What would you like to improve on as a ball player?
DL: I got my mind on the baseball.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
DL: My father. Baseball is difficult and we come from the Dominican Republic. My father always said, 'you can do it, let's go.' That's why I am here.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a baseball field?
DL: Yesterday. I was hitting in batting practice, and some guy was throwing ground balls to first base, when he threw the ball to the other guy, I hit the ball at the same time and my ball and his ball crashed into one another.
DM: Favorite city you've played in?
DM: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
DL: I'll try to be in the big leagues. Just God knows.
DM: Thank you for your time and the best of luck to you, Diomendes.