Moreno Not Complacent

The Yankees signed outfielder Reymundo Moreno out of Venezuela this past summer for a reported $600,000. Known for his defensive prowess and rapidly developing offensive game, he is excited about his forthcoming debut season next year but he also knows that now is when the real work begins and he says he isn't about to get complacent behind the scenes.

He was one of many new International free agents to the sign with the Yankees this past year.

"Obviously it's a blessing signing with one of the best, actually the best baseball team and one of the best franchises in sports in the world," Moreno said through the help of a translator. "You don't get that chance everyday and I'm very happy it happened to me."

A right-handed batter, he had earned the reputation as an advanced defensive player coming up through the amateur ranks, one who could excel either in centerfield or in the corners, and despite not having plus power potential, he had garnered increasingly more attention for the polished bat that he was developing.

"Right now my defense is a lot better than everything else," he flatly admitted. "I believe in my range. Right now my range is my best tool. My arm is average but I feel like it's getting stronger.

"Offensively I'm a line-drive hitter. I don't try to do too much. I'm not known as a power guy so I stay within my game and I've been able to translate that into the games and not just in practice."

He reportedly came on late in the International free agent signing period with his better offensive production and that trend continued behind the scenes in informal games on the back fields at the Yankees' Dominican academy during the Dominican Summer League season.

In fact, with his game trending upward, he was a late invitee to the Yankees' Instructional League camp in Tampa last month and a big reason why was how quickly he was adapting to the professional game.

"In game situations my hitting has gotten a lot better but overall my presence, the way I get ready, the professionalism, the Yankees demand that and it has gotten a lot better [too]," he opined.

He obviously hasn't played an official minor league game yet and his exposure to the professional level thus far has been limited to just informal games behind the scenes, but he says he has gotten enough of a taste to know the things he needs to focus on in preparation for his debut season in 2015.

"I believe hitting-wise I have to get a lot better looking at pitches and recognizing pitches, getting that timing down," he admitted. "Defensively I have to do the same thing, I have to be ready for every play.

"Before signing here the competition wasn't bad so you get lost a little bit out there so I feel I have to learn something new everyday to get to that [desired] level."

While the power projection is somewhat limited, it's his advanced mental makeup for such a young kid that allows him to stand out and brings his entire game together. He realizes there is work to do in the coming months but he can't wait for his debut season next year and he says he won't get out-worked.

"I'm very happy. I'm going to get ready and give 100 percent every time. I was very excited. I didn't know I was going to be going to Instructs so when they called me and told me I was going [to Instructs in the United States] I said 'thank God for this'. Hopefully next year I'll get my chance [to come to the United States again].

"I'm coming out here and giving my best but I'm not complacent. I can't afford to be complacent. Everyday I have to give it a little extra and keep moving forward, and that's what I'm going to do," he concluded.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories