Jimmy Paredes came into the 2009 season prepared for whatever the Yankees organization was going to throw at him. After playing injured during the 2008 season, Paredes underwent surgery to repair his shoulder and is starting fresh in Staten Island this season.
When the spring session began, Paredes was still unable to play at one hundred precent but still maintains the time was important.
"It was important even though I wasn't always playing while rehabbing the shoulder," he said through an interpreter. "But I was getting some at-bats and made the most of it."
As always, injury and the ensuing surgery always raises red flags for an athlete, but Paredes insists he is putting it behind him and getting closer to a complete recovery.
"It's getting better," said the Dominican native with a wry smile. "It's getting better everyday, especially today [he hammered his first home run of the season on Friday]."
Speculation arose as to the young infielder's team assignment for the 2009 season. Health and shoulder strength were the underlying issues as to whether he would likely be prepared in time for the single-A RiverDogs, but Paredes attended Extended Spring Training and ended up with Staten Island.
"They wanted to make sure I was healthy and then they felt I needed to be in Staten Island. Extended Spring training went well though, it was an important time for my recovery."
Paredes is still wary of his success in Staten Island. Even though he is among the team leaders in some offensive categories, he is not convinced he is at his peak when at the plate.
"I'm hitting the ball hard but it's right at people. That's just luck but it will change. I feel good though and I'm going to continue to work hard. Those hits will fall."
It goes without saying that the switch-hitting youngster can put a charge into the ball, but Paredes still lacks selectivity. His walk to strikeout ratio could use some improvement, but he has his eyes set on one thing: moving up in the system.
"I'm ready to go. I'm going to work hard and stay healthy. That's what I am maintaining and I'm looking to move up."
Paredes Ready To Go
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