Carlos Hernandez: Me as a coach and ex-player, I talk to them about everything. This game is not only catching and throwing it is about everything. You have to have love for this game. You have to give your all. Even if you are hurt, sometimes you have to play. You have to show the managers you care. The catchers are a real important piece of the game as a team.
We have a real good bunch of kids who want to work and compete. The next year there will be a lot of competition.
How much fun did you have in your first year as a coach?
Carlos Hernandez: It is fun to go and watch these kids. I am proud to be a coach for them. This is my first as a coach and I am happy for them. We are friends – when they make some errors I feel bad too. It is a real good feeling. For me to be in my first year, it is a tremendous feeling I have for those guys right now.
Not everyone is going to make it but at least three guys can make it to the big leagues.
What is the biggest thing for you that makes it all worthwhile and what are you trying to really get through to each of these kids?
Carlos Hernandez: You see the guys make an improvement. The big thing to be a major leaguer is you have to be positive, confidence in yourself. To be a catcher is not easy because sometimes you throw the ball away, you make an error and somebody scores and then your head comes down. Everyone knows they can do it.
It is a shame everyone won't make it to the big leagues but I believe those guys are getting good training, have a love for the game and hopefully everyone gets to the big leagues.
I want everyone to know what it is like to have a good life. When you get to the big leagues it is beautiful. Your family is watching you – you met your goal. We are trying to make everyone a big leaguer.
How rewarding has it been then, especially knowing everyone won't make it?
Carlos Hernandez: I love it. This is real good. I went to the Instructional League and kept working with the kids. I took this job seriously as a player and I love to be up there doing extra work, after practice work, I don't care. I don't only work with them on their defense. We talk a lot about the game, they get to ask me a lot of questions on what it was like in the big leagues and we pull everything together – to compete at the best level and to win.
When I saw Nick Hundley in spring training and again in the Instructional League I noticed that he was very vocal with the pitching staff. Is that true of all of your catchers?
Carlos Hernandez: You know, right now everyone is doing the same. Colt Morton – it is unbelievable the way they prepare and I am very happy with the managing and coaches. Those kids prepare like they are in the big leagues. They talk about the game before going in. You don't see at those levels too many managers teaching that and it is what we are doing right now. We are teaching these kids everything from the beginning until the end – from rookie to the big leagues. This is a tremendous technique. If we use it in the big leagues why don't we use it in the minor leagues. We know how we played last night so today we are going to see everything yesterday, what we did good, what we did bad and take it from there. They are getting prepared to get ready to play.
Sometimes I go out there and they say ‘One second, I have a meeting with my pitching coach to talk about what happened yesterday and how we are going to work these guys.'