Jose Trevino remembers being the first at Oral Roberts University to wear a suit, crouch and catch.
When the Golden Eagles decided to move behind the plate, he just dropped off the first team freshman All-American campaign as third baseman in 2013. Trebino only caught modestly in high school, but he was told to pick up the pitch from the program’s pitching machine and caught it as set up — some kind of test. He swear that it immediately fired a fastball at 100 mph in his untested mitt. All the while, members of Oral Roberts’ coaching staff repeated the mantra.
“They kept saying:’Catch it. Make it easy to see!” Trebino recalled with a laugh. “I’m thinking.’I don’t know if I’m made for that.’ It was hard at the time.”
Believe it or not, it’s a story of the unlikely origin of an unlikely All-Star catcher. Trebino is one of the six Yankees selected for the Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Trebino is considered an elite defensive backstop and its number confirms it. No catcher is a better pitch framer this season. Baseball savant Catcher framing execution and strike rate statistics.
Trebino didn’t imagine such a future when he first tried the position, but his coach knew better. Ryan Folmar, a longtime Oral Roberts assistant and college head coach since 2013, first imagined Trebino being caught when the two met at a camp for high school freshmen.
“Soon, I thought:’Man, this man is a catcher. This man, I can see at some point transitioning to being behind the plate,” Former said. “He was a very good baseball player, so I knew that the transition would be easy.
“He had all the intangibles, leadership qualities and toughness, everything needed for that position, and also the physical part. So it’s all just a kind of alignment, it’s Everything is just a kind of fit. “
Trebino strove to become the Golden Eagles starting catcher that year, but another switch awaited. He spent his junior campaign as a shortstop, meeting the needs of his team and became the Texas Rangers’ sixth round pick in 2014. Texas drafted him as an infielder, but Trebino soon realized that his future was being caught.
Upon arriving in Class A Spokane in 2014, he unexpectedly found him catching gear in a locker. The coach suggested that Trebino ask the agent for some new gloves overnight, and he soon noticed himself working behind the plate.
At that time, it was a much more difficult task for him.
“I was really bad at it,” Trebino said. “I had a hard time with it. And I sat alone and wrote a diary. If you want to be a big leaguer, this That’s what I have to do to get better. I wrote down everything I needed to get better. “
These journal entries included almost every aspect of catching, including blocking, receive, throw, and pitch call. “Everything,” said Trebino. It helped him become a full-time catcher in 2015, and he’s been behind the plate ever since.
For all early issues, defense was not a Trebino issue with the Rangers. Originally from Texas, he played in 156 major league games from 2018 to 2021 (including last year’s career record of 89) and was a metric darling, even if he didn’t offer much value in the bat. Quietly established myself.
Trebino’s defenses made him attractive to the Yankees when Ben Rortvedt, a young catcher that the Yankees acquired as a back-up for the team this season, was injured in spring training. On April 2, the Yankees signed a deal with Trebino and sent minor league Robbie Earle and relief Albert Abreu to Texas.
For Trebino, who grew up supporting the Yankees, it was a dream come true.
“I was excited about the changes in the landscape,” he said. “The Rangers were great for me and great for me. They grew me up and helped me with everything. I don’t say anything bad about Rangers. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I’m grateful for the time I’m in, but I’m excited to be here. “
Forced to learn new staff on the spot, Trevino only impressed with his receiving skills. His framing often tricks referees and sometimes steals strikes for deceived pitchers.
Michael King, the Yankees breakout star reliever, said: “But I went back and looked at it and it was out of the two balls. But he’s so good at making it look like a strike, so it tricks me. Everything is there. I have.”
The Yankees knew what they were getting from Trebino’s gloves, but his bat was an unresolved question. In part of four seasons with the Rangers, he hit ..245 with a .634 on-base and slugging ratio, 9 home runs and 55 RBIs. According to the baseball reference, his RBI was only 0.5 wins and his attack was almost wiped out. All the value of his defense.
But in the case of the Yankees, Trebino was a more complete player. He hits .514 OPS, 7 Homer, 27 RBI and .251 on the All-Star Break. These numbers aren’t different, but when combined with his defenses, they add up to 2.1 WAR, and Trebino can replace Kyle Higashioka with: Yankees starter.
“He’s an all-star, and if not, it’s not just because he’s alone. the, The best defensive catcher in the league, “said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “He is swinging the bat really well.”
It was Boone who informed Trebino of his first All-Star nod. The Yankees shared a conversation on social media on July 10th. This time, it was Trebino that continued to repeat.
He asked his boss twice if he was serious.
Emotional moments have been one of many moments for Trebino since he joined the Yankees.
Before his death in 2013, his father, Joe, dreamed of one day his son wearing pinstripes. The two practiced together, and Joe imagined Trebino stepping up to the plate for a big moment at Yankee Stadium.
On May 24th, Trebino hit a walk-off single on Joe’s 69th birthday. Trevino added a second walkoff on June 10th to his son’s birthday.
Today, Trebino is heading to Los Angeles with the Yankees stars Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and surprise companions Nester Cortez and Clay Holmes.
Trevino is excited to be able to participate in this experience. “The kids in me are definitely excited,” he said. But Trebino also aims to catch a bigger game for the Yankees.
“That is, the All-Star game is great,” he said. “Similarly, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to be an All-Star, but that’s not the purpose I’m here for. I want to win. I want to win.”