Before Orioles players, coaches, fans and the media flock to the Baltimore Convention Center tomorrow for FanFest, we were lucky enough to have outfielder Anthony Santander visit our “MASN All Access” studio for a sit down chat with Sara Perlman.
Watch the exclusive interview below, as Sara and Anthony chat about what it’s like coming from Venezuela to the States, being selected in the Rule 5 draft, how he’s preparing for spring training and more! For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, the full transcription in English is below the video. Don’t make fun of Sara’s Spanish!
Sara Perlman: Now when you signed out of Venezuela, you were only 17 years old when you made your professional debut. You are now 23 years old. What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make in professional baseball thus far?
Anthony Santander: I would say to control my emotions, that would be the biggest adjustment at the same time the biggest challenge. I made a big jump from Class A all the way to the big leagues. I’ve been put in an environment where I have to share with big stars like Manny Machado, Chris Davis, (Mark) Trumbo, all of those players that I look forward to continue to learn from them.
SP: What’s been your favorite part about learning from players like Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo?
AS: I would say the way they play the game, how hard they play. They go at it from Day One. They prepare from Day One. So that’s been the biggest learning experience for me.
SP: Now in 2016, the Orioles took you in the Rule 5 draft. What was that process like as a player?
AS: It’s exciting, at the same time it’s a big challenge. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a big jump from Class A to the big leagues, so I just want to continue to work, keep learning and hopefully continue to have great success in the big leagues.
SP: Now before the Orioles took you in the Rule 5 draft, you were coming off of that shoulder injury, following surgery. Did that affect your game at all mentally and/or physically?
AS: Not really. I enjoy challenges, so I saw it as an opportunity to be better, get my mind right, concentrate on the big challenge that was ahead of me, to work hard, get my physical body in shape and prepare for the game at the highest level.
SP: Now what’s your offseason looked like over these past few months training in Venezuela?
AS: Working hard. I want to make the team out of spring training. I’m still in that status of Rule 5 that I still need to make the team, so I really want to do it. I want to be ready when that time comes and show what I can do.
SP: What are your main goals for the 2018 season with the Orioles?
AS: The main objective is to be healthy. If I’m healthy, it will allow me to play hard and to contribute to the team and hopefully make the playoffs this year.
SP: Are you nervous at all or is it more a feeling of excitement?
AS: Excited. I’m really excited about it.
SP: Thank you so much for joining us here. We appreciate it.
AS: Thank you for having me.
SP: I’m Sara Perlman, this is Anthony Santander and this was “MASN All Access.”
* Translation by Orioles Spanish translator and baseball operations assistant Ramón Alarcón