Jeremy Pena of the Astros doesn’t want to be Carlos Correa

Peña’s baseball pedigree is unmistakable. In 1997 he was born in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, crazy for baseball. His father, Gerónimo, played in seven-season parts with St. Louis and Cleveland, his last season coming in 1996. Although Jeremy has never seen his father play, he grew up wanting to know everything about that life.

“Whenever we were having breakfast, dinner or lunch, we always sat around the table for about 45 minutes more just talking about him or what he had to go through or even about my mother,” Peña said. “They are just doing whatever they have had to go through to provide for us.”

When Jeremy was 12, the Peñas moved to Providence, RI, following an aunt who was already there. Peña did not speak English. He said it was tough at first, but that there was a large Dominican population and that he had teachers who also spoke Spanish.

“I learned a lot on the baseball field,” he said. “My teammates were bilingual and they taught me the basics and I applied them at school. And we were going back and forth for a year, a year and a half, and I was already having full conversations. “

Admittedly, skinny and small then, Peña wasn’t a highly publicized prospect outside of Classical High School when the Atlanta Braves selected him in the 39th round of the 2015 draft. He didn’t sign and instead attended the University of Maine. He said the cold weather and shoveling snow from the field created character while allowing him to grow. (He ate even more and started lifting weights.) Three years later, the Astros took him with the 102nd pick of the draft.

After dealing with shin problems and a disappointing first season in minors, Peña went to a private training facility outside Boston, frequented by some major league players, to, in his own words, get in shape. Peña is now listed at 6ft 202lbs, showing the added strength and speed that helped him shoot through minors. He tried to shape his playing style of him, he said, on former Mets shortstop José Reyes.