Franmy Pena bio
Player: Franmy Peña
Jersey Number: 15
Hometown: Santiago, Dominican Republic
Height, Weight: 5-9, 180
Best Baseball Memory: When I went to the (Dominican) All-Star game in 2011.
Greatest Baseball Accomplishment: When I signed to play pro ball.
Favorite Player Growing Up: Manny Ramirez, because I like how he can hit the ball.
Most Influential Player/Role Model: My parents, because they always help me on my future.
Favorite Food: Rice, beans and chicken.
Favorite Pregame Meal: Rice, beans and chicken.
Off-field hobbies: Listen to music.
After a long day of travel to get from the Dominican Republic to Grand Junction, Franmy Pena woke up Monday and was too sick to make it to practice.
“In the Dominican it was super-hot, and being on the plane many hours (made him sick),” Pena said with manager Tony Diaz interpreting for him.
He recovered quickly and jumped right into the action for the Grand Junction Rockies. He was one of two catchers to play in the Rockies’ exhibition game.
His father played baseball in the Dominican, so Pena was destined to be a ballplayer, starting when he was only 4 years old. He got serious about the game at age 15.
“They won an international tournament when he was younger,” Diaz said. Pena wasn’t sure how old he was at the time, but it was in the Little League-age range. “He was one of the main guys.”
He was an infielder until two years ago, when he signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies and was converted into a catcher. His first two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, he played first base and did some catching.
He hit only .179 his first season, but in 2011, he led Boca Chica with a .296 average in 35 games, with a team-high three home runs.
He’s put in a lot of hard work to learn how to catch, and during minicamp, the catchers were on the field an hour before practice began, working with roving catching instructor Marv Foley.
“It’s somewhat difficult because there’s a lot of responsibility behind the plate,” Pena said through Diaz. “And the wear and tear, too.”
He’s hoping he can continue to improve at the next level, he said, and contribute to the club’s success.
Along with working on becoming a catcher, he’s working on his English.
“He’s living with three American kids,” Diaz said. “He understands a lot. He just has trouble putting it together to speak.”