Solid Overall Skills Raising Status of Henriquez

Ralphie Henriquez has several things working his way in terms of his status as a baseball prospect are concerned. The first is that he already has major league receiving and catching abilities.

The second is that he is a switch hitting catcher, who can generate bat speed from both sides of the plate. The third is he has his father right by his side working simultaneously on his game.

"I would say the ability to catch and throw, and the ability to switch hit are two of the biggest strengths to my game" Ralphie Henriquez said.

His father is a catching instructor for the Atlanta Braves, and Ralphie credits him as being the biggest influence in his baseball career. Henriquez spends the summer traveling with his father, something he has been doing since the age of eleven, and believes being able to experience professional baseball hands on is a positive not many others in his position can say they have had.

"I grew up in baseball. Before my father went to the Braves, he coached here locally and I was always around the sport. I learn so many things from traveling with him that I have used to become a better baseball player. If it was not for him, I am not sure I would be in this position today."

Henriquez is also a rare catcher who can hit from both sides of the plate. A natural right hand hitter, he learned to hit from the left side of the plate after working with a friends of his father, who works for the San Diego Padres organization.

"My first full year hitting left handed was my freshman season of high school, and I have just been working on it since then."

Henriquez, who mentions the toughest thing as a catcher is to get right back up after being hit with a ball and a bat, will be in the back stop for Oklahoma State in the fall of 2005.

"To be honest, I really have not seen Oklahoma State, but they were really up front with me and told me if I did not like it, I could rip up whatever I signed. In the end, they were just real good to me, and were a bunch of nice people."

There is a good chance the Henriquez will not even see Oklahoma State, as he expects his name to be called early on in June of 2005 during the Major League Baseball Draft. He is currently ranked by Baseball America as the fourth ranked catcher in the country, and Henriquez has set clear goals for himself in his mind, when he was asked about his outlook for the upcoming draft.

"I want to be a top round pick, and then be in the big leagues in four years" Henriquez told

For now, Henriquez will worry about his senior season for Key West High School and play as hard as he can to produce for his team and do the things he needs to do to be successful.

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