The Frisco RoughRiders hosted their annual Media Day today. Players and coaches were made available for interviews and pictures. In talking to the RoughRiders staff and players, you could easily see that there was an optimistic outlook on the coming season. One look at the roster could assure those thoughts.
The event started off with RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik speaking with several members of the media. Right from the start, it was easy to see that the Skipper was truly passionate about his players. He made a comment on Yohander Mendez and his family, who are in Venezuela. “My heart goes out to his family,” the Skipper said. This was in regards to the hardships that Mendez’s family is facing in their home country.
Mikulik’s passion for his players clearly comes from the deep passion he has for his family. When asked what he thought about returning to the RoughRiders for a third-straight season, the Skipper’s face lit up. “Family is important,” he told the media crowd. He commented on how being close to his nearby family was wonderful. The Skipper’s family values extend to his players, as he discussed when their families visit Dr. Pepper Park in Frisco.
“I tell them to let me know when your family is in town,” Mikulik told the press. As he was discussing setting lineups, he wanted to ensure someone didn’t ride the bench when their loved ones made a special trip to see them play. The RoughRiders manager told the crowd a story of when he was a player, and his family was in town. “Several family members came to watch me (play). When they all piled into the stadium, I was on the bench.” Mikulik laughed as he remembered the story.
It was straight to business, shortly after the small talk and introductions. Catcher Jose Trevino was the largest topic of discussion. Entering this season, Trevino is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the Texas Rangers organization, by MLB.com. Last season, Trevino was named the Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year. Mikulik believes Trevino will have another successful season.
When discussing Trevino, the Skipper made one point very clear: Trevino is a leader in the clubhouse. Mikulik is also looking to get 100 games under Trevino’s belt this season. “Without me even appointing a captain, he (Trevino) came into my office today, and, you know, already started,” the RoughRiders manager told the media. “Every once in a while, you’ll find guys that will lead (in the Minors). But he takes it to the next level,” Mikulik added.
When it was time for Trevino to talk with the media, his leadership qualities shined. He was asked what the most important responsibility of a catcher was. “To take care of my pitcher,” he quickly replied. He spoke of controlling the tempo, slowing down a rattled pitcher, and visiting the mound. “I want to make sure we are all on the same page when I go to the mound,” Trevino told reporters. Mikulik even commented how Trevino would “probably save Shouse (RoughRiders pitching coach) a lot of visits to the mound” with his ability to work with pitchers in-game.
“I look at (Jonathan) Lucroy in the big leagues, and he’s that guy,” Mikulik stated about Trevino. It’s clear that the coaching staff and the pitchers are happy to have Trevino. He brings a lot to the table, and could easily be a key factor in bringing a Texas League Championship to the Frisco RoughRiders.