With baseball coming back and our traffic up nearly 50% from January, I wanted to welcome those of you who are new to MMO and those who are back from your Winter hibernation. I’ll be re-posting some of the two dozen interviews we conducted over the last three months as all of them make their way to the Mets major and minor league camps. Enjoy!
When the Mets made shortstop Danny Muno their 8th round pick in this years MLB Draft, they knew they were getting an experienced college player with a well-rounded game. What they have gotten so far, is that and quite a bit more. In addition to winning the Sterling Award at Brooklyn for his exemplary work this season, he was acknowledged right here on MMO, as the #20 Mets Top Prospect several weeks ago. Danny was kind enough to answer some questions for our MMO community. Here’s what he had to say:
Petey: First of all congratulations Danny on a spectacular year full of accomplishments! From being the 8th round pick in the draft by the Mets, to playing in front of the awesome fans in Brooklyn, to winning the NYPL batting title, to becoming the Sterling Award winner at Brooklyn. It was a very exciting year for you I would imagine. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers at MetsMerizedOnline.com. When the Mets drafted you in the 8th round of the 2011 MLB Player Draft, how did you first hear about it, and what was that feeling like? Did you know the Mets were interested in drafting you? What round(s) were you thinking you might be taken in the draft?
Danny: I got a call early that morning from Doug Thurman, who is the scout that drafted me, and he said they really wanted to take me in the draft that day. I thought that I would have been taken somewhere between the 5th and 10th round. I am so happy that I got picked up by the Mets and I am truly blessed.
Petey: Is there one person, a coach, a friend or family member, or even another player, who you learned the most from, or who inspired you to chase your dream of becoming a major league baseball player?
Danny: My Dad and my Mom both inspired me growing up because I always heard how both of them were such great athletes. My Dad won a national championship in football at the University of Notre Dame and my mom won a national championship in track at UCLA. It really made me want to do the most I could with baseball and that was to make it to the major leagues.
Petey: You played four years of college baseball at Fresno State, and as a freshman in 2008, played SS and 2B for the National Champion Fresno State Bulldogs, in the College World Series. What are some of your most vivid memories of winning that national championship?
Danny: Well we were a true underdog story. No one had picked us to win the World Series and I think that was the best part. It was an unbelievable experience and it was so much fun.
Petey: You had a marvelous professional debut for the Cyclones in 2011, leading the New York Penn League in batting average, with a cool .355, while batting out of the lead-off spot. You also led the league in: OBP with .466 and OPS with .980, and tied for first with 23 2B’s. You were third in the league in SLG% with .514, walks with 43, and runs scored with 45. You tied for 5th in the league in hits with 78, and were 8th in TB’s with 113. You even helped your team get into the playoffs! Wow! What are you planning for an encore? Haha! How does the pitching in the NYPL compare to major college pitching?
Danny: My encore is to someday help the big league team win a World Series, and the pitching in the NYPL was very comparable to college pitching.
Petey: Moving forward, what stands between you and the big leagues? What do you specifically need to work on as a player, and improve upon, in order to be ready to compete on the big stage?
Danny: I plan on being in the big leagues someday in the near the future and I need to work on all the little things in baseball everyday, and I particularly need to work on the mental game.
Petey: What was your favorite baseball team growing up? Your favorite player?
Danny: The Los Angeles Dodgers were my favorite team growing up, and now it is the New York Mets. My favorite player was Nomar Garciaparra growing up though.
Petey: Is there a major league player, past or present, that you think you are similar to in style? Or someone that you can see yourself playing like someday in the majors?
Danny: Jose Reyes is someone I could see myself playing like in the future.
Petey: What are your goals for next season? And how will you prepare over the winter, can you describe your workout regimen?
Danny: My goals are to go out and play hard everyday and everything else will take care of itself. I work out really hard in the off season with Dr. Marcus Elliot at P3 Performance Center. He has helped me so much in developing me and my body into the player I am today.
Petey: Pick one teammate, position player or pitcher, that really impressed you with his play this year at Brooklyn, and tell us what it was that made you take notice.
Danny: Jack Leathersich really impressed me this summer and he has electric stuff on the mound.
Petey: And to finish up Danny, just a little personal info, not pertaining to baseball. What is your favorite movie? Favorite musician or band? Favorite food?
Danny: Favorite movie would be 300. I Like country music, and l love to eat steak.
I want to thank Danny once again for taking the time to answer these questions for us at MMO. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know one of the Mets’ top infield prospects. He certainly is driven to succeed, and that combined with his talent, should carry him a long way.
Danny Muno Video Links: