Q&A 38th Round Pick, Jerome Pena

ITO interviews the Orioles 38th round pick, 2B Jerome Pena from TCU. This season Pena started in all 61 games the Horned Frogs played. He batted .263 with one homer and 31 RBIs and he had 9 stolen bases on 14 attempts.

InsidetheOs: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the Orioles?

Jerome Pena: I was lying in bed playing my PSP and I started to receive a lot of text messages saying congrats. My phone started ringing off the hook. I pulled up the draft tractor and saw that I was taken by the Orioles so I ran over to my roommate and gave him a great big hug. It's a dream come true. I want to get my foot in the door and prove to people that I can play.

ITO: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Orioles?

Jerome Pena: I always have fun, and I am a contagious player. I keep everything in prospective. I will be playing pro baseball which I love and it's now my job. I feel like every team I have been on we have found a way to win. It's a great organization.

ITO: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

Pena: I need to work on handling the wood bat. I have to shorten up my swing and get use to it. I can touch up my infield a little bit and steal a little bit more. I need to see how pitchers get into rhythms and know when to steal in the right counts at the pro level.

ITO: How about your defensive game?

Pena: I feel like I am a great infielder. I just can't take plays off and I have to be in every single play at all times. I am good with the glove just stay focused.

ITO: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Orioles' fans have an idea of what your game is like?

Pena: I like to play like Robinson Cano because he is hard nose. Also a little bit of Pete Rose because I have that bull dog mentality. Nick Swisher too because I love how he plays the game he always laughs and is outspoken; Love how he carries himself.

ITO: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Orioles or were you surprised they selected you?

Pena: I was talking to other teams more heavily. The Orioles called me one time and said that's it were taking you and next thing you know I was drafted by the Orioles.

ITO: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you'll be moved to another position?

Pena: I caught in college and have played outfield as well so I wouldn't be opposed as long as I am out there playing

ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Pena: My greatest memory was hitting a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game. It's something ill never forget.

ITO: Who was your favorite team?

Pena: I was from Arizona so I liked the Diamondbacks because it is my home state. When I went to junior college my love went to the Giants. I love Tim Lincecum and I got to go to the ball park all the time and I like their whole team.

ITO: Where level will you start out at in the organization?

Pena: I will be starting out in the Gulf Coast League. My first scrimmage is Wednesday but I am not cleared to play yet. Our season starts Monday and hopefully ill be ready to play then.

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