Instructs Q&A: Hector Pellot

A fourth-round draft selection of the New York Mets this June, 18-year-old Hector Pellot is participating in the club's month-long Instructional League camp at Port St. Lucie, Fla., making the switch from shortstop to second base. Pellot joined Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch via telephone this week, reporting on the mood of the camp and other items:

Hector, what's the camp like down there? What's the attitude of the players like?

It's a very good program. We have a very good staff and very good teachers. We are learning to play the game of baseball the right way, you know? We're having a great time down here, and I'm glad to be here.

For you, this is your first professional camp. What's the experience been like?

I can't believe it. I'm learning so many things. These guys here are doing a great job. I'm changing positions, because before this I was a shortstop, and now I'm playing second base. It's a different mind[set], different kinds of things. I'm learning a lot.

What are the biggest challenges of making the switch to second base?

I don't know. It's just the mentality, because at shortstop, you have different positions and angles to throw from. You can turn double plays and keep first base [in view] when you're at second base; you're in charge of everything at shortstop. Now, you have other responsibilities. That's the main challenge.

How did you feel about making the change after being a shortstop all your life?

I'm doing great. I'm learning quickly and the only thing you have to do to make things right is just focus on what you want. I'm doing that and I'm doing great.

What's a typical day like for a player who goes to the Instructional League?

First of all, I wake up at 6 a.m., and we have a van leaving [the hotel] at 6:20. We get into the clubhouse and have breakfast, and the day starts with early stretch at 7:50, and early work begins at 8:00. Then, at 8:45, we have a meeting that explains what we're going to do in the day, and just remind things that happened the day before.

After that, we have a stretch for the day, and separate into groups - non-gamers and gamers. The gamers (players who will play in a game that day) go to separate fields from the non-gamers. After the fundamentals on the different fields, we have our hitting routines, apart with the gamers and the non-gamers.

And this happens every day, the same thing?

Every day. The same thing. All about fundamentals.

Does that get into a mental strain after a while? Are you happy to be coming to the end (camp ends Oct. 18th), and does it seem like most of the guys are getting it?

It's hard, because you get into a routine every day. You have to be very strong and mentally prepared for that. I think most of the guys are OK. Everybody's playing well and we're here to learn, to play the game the right way. Everybody's doing a great job. This doesn't depend on your production; we came here to learn.

Are there any players you've looked at and said, ‘You know what, that guy is pretty good?'

The shortstop, [Jose] Coronado from Venezuela. He's a great guy and he does his job, he's a quick learner. That's the type of thing; when you're a quick learner, that's the best thing you can have. Be a quick learner and be focused on what you want. All those things, that guy has those aspects.

You guys might be playing together next year, depending on where you start next year.

Yeah, that's right. The organization wants us to be together all of our lives, so we'll see what happens (Pellot laughs).


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