For those who don't know, OF Fernando was signed by the Mets at 16 years old and is probably our most talented minor leaguer in many years (even more than Milledge, Wright or Reyes supposedly) and has gotten comparisons from Bobby Abreu to Ted Williams for his tremendous hitting and also brings tremendous athleticism.
Adam Foster: What was your initial reaction when the Mets told you that you’d be playing in the Arizona Fall League?
Fernando Martinez: I was very happy because this was my first year here.
Foster: Could you think of a better way to celebrate you 18th birthday?
Martinez : (Smiles) Oh, you know! Opening day…it was good. I was happy.
Foster: What did the Mets tell you they wanted you to work on in Arizona?
Martinez : I work on everything. I work on the outfield, the base running, and hitting. You know, I see the pitcher. When he throws the fastball, the curve, or change, I see everything. I work [on] everything here.
Foster: You’ve been surrounded by much older competition both in the AFL and when you were with St. Lucie. What have these experiences been like for you?
Martinez : For me it’s outstanding because the other players [are] 28, 27 and [I’m] only 18. I think, “Wow!” I’m happy because I like this. I really, really like this. This is my life.
Foster: I’ve heard that your teammates and people who have seen you here have talked about how you really respect the people around you and you’ve learned from them.
Martinez : Wow! For me, I like the people here. It’s very nice.
Foster: Have there been any players or coaches who have helped you out and taken you under their wing?
Martinez : (Laughs) My hitting coach here, he [yells at] me, “Hey pequeño! Hey junior!” And the other guys [have started saying], “C’mon pequeño! C’mon junior!” I’m happy man. I’m happy here.
Foster: What kinds of changes are you trying to make in order to improve your game?
Martinez : I think I need to work in the outfield. You know, the jump on the fly ball.
Foster: At which outfield position do you feel the most comfortable?
Martinez : I really, really like center. But I never know. Maybe [I’ll] play left, [I’ll] play right because Beltran’s over there.
Foster: You’ve been going through the minor leagues really quickly. Have you had a chance to work much on your base stealing? Is that something that you’ve focused on?
Martinez : Yeah man. I can throw better. I can hit better. When you need a (motions trying to stealing a base).
Foster: Has your family gotten to see you play in the Arizona Fall League?
Martinez : No. [Not] here.
Foster: Is that hard for you?
Martinez : Yeah. But when I [was] playing in Hagerstown, my mother, my father, and my sister [got to see me].
Foster: Who was your favorite major leaguer growing up?
Martinez : Now, for me the best is Pujols. Before [it was] Alex [Rodriguez]. But Alex…I don’t know what happened man. For me now, it’s Albert Pujols.
Last edited by 49ersJetsfan; 12-12-2006 at 10:03 AM.