Reynaldo Mateo finally got an opportunity above the rookie ball level this season, and he put up solid numbers in his stint with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. Playing in the pitcher-friendly New York-Penn League, Mateo posted a .411 SLG in 73 at-bats.
That effort followed a monster start to his season with the A's Arizona League team. With the AZL A's, Mateo posted a .400/.419/.760 line in 19 games. He finished the year with a combined slash-line of .324/.361/.588 in 148 at-bats.
The 2012 season was Mateo's best offensive campaign since his organizational debut season in 2009. That year, the native of the Dominican Republic hit .364/.481/.561 for the A's Dominican Summer League squad. Mateo would repeat that level in 2010 and then he made his US debut in 2011 with the AZL A's. The right-handed hitter acquitted himself well last season with the AZL A's squad, batting .266/.345/.500 in 39 games.
Defensively, Mateo has continued to improve every season and looks poised to make his full-season affiliate debut in 2013. Donald Moore spoke with Mateo during the final stretch of the Vermont Lake Monsters' season.
Donald Moore: How is everything going this season for you?
Reynaldo Mateo: Pretty good. It's my first time at this level, so it's awesome. I feel awesome. It's good for me because I played two years in rookie ball and then was bumped up to here, so I feel pretty good.
DM: What are your plans for this off-season?
RM: Go to the Dominican and then go back to the Instructional league.
DM: Favorite baseball player growing up?
RM: Manny Ramirez, but now in the regular season, it's Miguel Cabrera.
DM: What is your biggest strength as a ball player?
RM: Powerful. This is a pretty good place and I like to be the best and work a lot. I love this sport, so I'm in this to be the best player.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
RM: I can't imagine that because the future is amazing, so I mean I just go to work everyday. I don't know what will happen with my career, so I just want to work is my plan right now.
DM: Reynaldo, it was a pleasure speaking with you and the best of luck to you in the future.
RM: Thank you.