This may sound like a shameless plug for the team I have covered and loved since 1990. In those 31 years I have never done anything like this, but I am going to encourage you to go out and buy some Rangers gear.
If you do, you might just meet your soon-to-be-favorite Rangers player.
Jose Trevino tweeted this last month, “@HipHipJose5 Ok I have to get this out there … If you are in the DFW area and you have a @Rangers car sticker and you hear a honk and see a random guy waving … it’s probably me … also, if you are wearing any @Rangers gear and you hear a random guy say ‘hey go rangers’ it’s probably me.”
After spending all of last season with the big league club, Jose has been all over the Metroplex this off season. Especially during the holidays. He had a toy drive here in North Texas and continued his huge annual toy drive in his native Corpus Christi. He held clinics with kids at the youth academy; he served as a coach and teacher at other guys’ clinics, like when Clayton Kershaw had one in early December.
It was not his first exposure to Clayton; during the shutdown in the spring, Kershaw returned home to Highland Park. Clayton was looking for major league players to throw with and to, and he reached out to Jose. Trevino was more than happy to catch bullpen sessions from the three-time Cy Young Award winner. But Jose and Nick Solak, among others, also got to take BP against Kershaw. Nick describes facing a guy who’s so competitive that he wanted to win every at bat even during the shutdown. Jose remembers Clayton’s electric stuff.
It’s almost as electric as Trevino’s smile and his personality. From reading children’s books on YouTube last April (he swears “The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar” is his favorite) to learning to rope from his teammate Taylor Hearn when the National Finals Rodeo was in town last December, Jose has shown his charm and charisma at every turn.
But he is more than just an electric smile and a pretty face, so to speak. Last year Chris Woodward praised the work Jose had done to improve his approach at the plate.
“He’s always had that fight in the batter’s box,” Woodward said last August. “He’s obsessed and hungry to get better. I think that is showing right now. And it’s a great example for our entire organization that you can improve, and he’s done that in a very short amount of time.”
Catching at the big league level is one of the most difficult jobs in sports. To do it well you must manage a five-man rotation and a bullpen full of personalities; you must create a game plan for each game and each hitter. To do that you must study and prepare and that preparation often draws catchers to the clubhouse eight hours before the game begins.
Jose brings all of that to the table.
“We knew he was good behind the plate,” Woodward said. “He’s got leadership ability, and he’s relentless in his understanding of how to pitch, game calling and preparation. Pitchers love him; they respect him. They respect his game-calling ability and trust him.”
There is no higher praise than that for a catcher. It is all about the relationship with the pitching staff. If you master that, you get the best out of every pitcher, and if you get the best out of every pitcher you give your team a chance to win every game.
So give Trevino a follow on Twitter. Go check him out on YouTube. You also may want to get a Rangers sticker for your car and some Rangers gear.
In fact, you may as well just go buy the #56 Jersey worn by Jose Trevino because if he is not already, he is about to become your favorite player.