Author Topic: Round 5 - Miguel Pena, LHP, La Joya HS (TX)  (Read 4499 times)

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Offline JMUalumni

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Round 5 - Miguel Pena, LHP, La Joya HS (TX)
« Topic Start: June 10, 2009, 04:22:23 PM »
Round 5 Pick, Miguel Pena.  Another pick that I like more as I read about him:

LA JOYA — Forgive Miguel Peña for being a little excited.

The 16-year-old pitching standout for La Joya was watching one of his favorite movies last Wednesday — For Love of the Game — when he received a phone call at his family home. On the other end of the line was a scout from the Milwaukee Brewers.

“He was just calling to tell me they were interested,” Peña said. “He said they liked what they had seen of me, and to keep working hard and to keep headed in the right direction. I was a little shocked. I didn’t expect that. Coach (Reuben Farias) told me scouts had been calling, I had been getting letters in the mail, too, but I didn’t expect a scout to call my house.

“That’s something you dream about.”

Peña, who leads the Coyotes into the regional quarterfinal best-of-three playoff series against McAllen High (25-9) beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, says his ultimate dream is to play in the major leagues, although the sophomore lefty-hander hopes to continue his education after high school. But considering he’s already receiving mail from the Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and Cincinnati Reds — along with the phone call from the Brewers — it appears he’s a lock to be selected in the 2009 MLB draft.

That would leave Peña with a major decision to make.

“I’ve never had a kid get this much attention this early. Not from the pro scouts,” Farias said. “I’ve had colleges call and stuff like that, but Miguel is only 16 and he’s getting phone calls from professional scouts. The scouts think he’s going straight into the draft. We’ve been getting calls from colleges, too, but most of the interest right now is coming from the professional scouts.

“The kid’s blessed. He’s got a great, great gift.”

Peña, who was named All-Valley Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, has led La Joya (30-3) on the mound and at the plate.

He owns a 10-2 record and has tossed three no-hitters, including one against Eagle Pass in the opening round of the playoffs. Peña has a 0.67 ERA — a number he says is inflated by a rough early-season outing — and has struck out 147 batters in 84 innings on the mound, sitting down an average of 1.8 batters on strikes per inning.

At the plate, Peña is hitting .350 with 23 RBIs, 22 runs scored and two home runs.

“What more do you want?” said Brownsville Porter coach Tony Barbosa after Peña led the Coyotes to an area-round sweep of the Cowboys last week. “The kid is good. He hits his spots, and he really took it to us.

“He’s going to be a good one, there’s no question about that.”

Peña (6-foot, 155 pounds) is known by Rio Grande Valley coaches as being a deceptive lefty that uses his offspeed pitches to catch hitters off-guard. His fastball has topped out at 89 mph, an increase of “four to five mph from last year,” Farias said.

And for those who have forgotten, he’s only a sophomore.

“Last year as a freshman I just kind of came in and did my thing,” Peña said. “This year, I’m more of a leader out there. I’m more involved with my teammates. It’s hard to believe I’m just a sophomore. I feel like a senior, to be honest. But I have two years left here, and then after that hopefully I will have that big decision to make of whether to play in college or go straight to the pros.

“To me, like my coaches tell me, that’s a great decision to have.”

Today I went to La Joya to interview Coyotes pitcher Miguel Pena, and everytime I go to La Joya I am always very impressed by how large the cmapus is.

I know people jokingly call it a univeristy but it is larger than many universities and colleges. I guess it will still be a large campus even with it splitting into three schools next year.


I came away impressed with this guy. I haven’t seen him play but from I understand he has a lot of potential.
He is really well spoken. I interview a lot of student-athletes and many of them don’t interview well but Miguel did a really good job.

He can actually throw left and right handed. He did not realize until he was 9 that he could throw with his left arm. And to his surprise it was his dominant arm.

La Joya junior pitcher Miguel Peña has a quiet confidence about him.
He knows he's good, but he also knows that he can always get better.
In a way, such a description pretty much sums up his 2008 season.
He was good. Very good. Good enough, in fact, to earn the 2008 VMS All-Valley Pitcher of the Year award.
He went 10-2 on the mound with a 1.65 ERA in 72 innings of work. He gave up just 26 walks, 52 hits and had 95 strikeouts. What's more, he was also versatile at the plate as he batted .353 with 30 RBIs.
But things could have been better. In the postseason, especially.
After beating McAllen in the first game of their regional quarterfinal series, the Coyotes lost back-to-back games and dropped the series 2-1.
Fortunately, Peña has one more year to try his hand at a state title.
"We've got a solid team coming back next season and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure my senior season is one to remember."

And for the nickname hounds:
A lot of people refer to La Joya pitcher Miguel Pena as Mickey. He has to have the best song when he goes up to bat. The song “Mickey”, which has the famous line “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine/ You’re so fine you blow my mind/ Hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!” plays as he walks to the plate. Funny stuff.