Dimas Ojeda is the Mariners 17th round draft pick in this years draft. He was an early season call up to the AquaSox after posting good numbers in the Arizona League (AZL). Ojeda has continued to impress in Everett, and despite some recent struggles, he has maintined an OPS around .800 and played solid defense in left field. We had a chance to sit down with Ojeda for a quick chat.
SSU: When you were first drafted, you spent some time in the AZL. What was it like playing down there in the middle of summer?
Dimas: First of all it was pretty hard, I mean its AZ weather, but I think that was the only bad part. Other than that, the guys down there are amazing. The whole organization is amazing, and those guys down there really helped prepare me, and helped bring me to the point I am right now up to Everett. So those guys are absolutely awesome and the league is fun.
SSU: You’ve put up very solid numbers up here to date, and from what I have seen you look very good at the plate as well. What would you say has been the largest factor in your success so far?
Dimas: I think it has to do a lot with the mental game. This past week or so I’ve been kind of up and down, but I think it’s a really big mental part to the game, and these guys b-hunt (hitting coach Brian Hunter), Rob (manager Rob Mummau) these guys really know what they are talking about and if you try to absorb everything they have, it’s going to go easy. If you listen to them, because they are telling us what to do to get to the next level.
SSU: Do you know where you were when you were drafted?
Dimas: It’s a funny story, actually. I was at the mall. It was the third day of the draft, and we were getting something for my dad for fathers day. I didn’t think I was getting a call until later on in the day, and there weren’t any calls in the morning or anything. So I was like we need to get something for Father’s Day. It was Saturday. I was at Lids looking for a hat for my dad, and that’s where I was. I was at the mall when I got the call. My dad was at work as we were trying to surprise him, but it was my Mom, my two little sisters, my little brother and me. So I got to give the surprise to my Dad when he got home
SSU: Were you expecting to get drafted at all?
Dimas: I thought I was going to as I had been talking to a couple of teams and they said they really wanted me.
SSU: Did you buy a Mariner hat right there in the store?
Dimas: I wanted to but they didn’t have my size.
SSU: You should have gone to the manager and said “Hey I just got drafted!”
Dimas: He found out because we were the only ones in the store and they were like what’s going on? We overheard a bit. :He found out because we were the only ones in the store and they were like “What’s going on? We overheard a bit. Did you just get drafted?” “Yeah” and they were like “Wow!”
SSU: Was there a player you particularly admired growing up or emulated?
Dimas: I don’t know if I’m supposed to say it, but I’m a big Braves fan, so I grew up watching Chipper, Andruw Jones. Andruw Jones is the guy I love watching. He’s a guy I admire a lot.
SSU: Do you have any pre-game rituals? Anything that gets you hyped up or in your zen place?
Dimas: I have to put on my stirrups left to right, and then to take them off I have to go right then left. I have to listen to music before every game. It doesn’t matter what it is I just have to listen to music, it clears my head.
SSU: What is your favorite sports movie?
Dimas: Wow that’s a tough one. I would have to go with Major League. It’s just a really funny movie.
SSU: What aspect of your game are you most looking to improve on during your time here in Everett?
Dimas: I was just talking about the mental side. What I really want to improve on is the mental aspect its one of the biggest things. It’s important when your up high and doing well in the game and its important when you are doing really bad. I think I’m doing a decent job at it, but I need to improve that And I think I need to get faster because I’m not very fast. There’s always room to work for everything and I’m trying to improve in every area.
SSU: That leads to the next question. You’re playing left field obviously. Have you always been an outfielder?
Dimas: No. I started playing outfield this past February. I’ve played first base my whole life. My sophomore year of college they said they had me and another first basemen they wanted to keep in the lineup and they said Hey let’s just stick Dimas in the lineup he looks kind of fast, and I ended up doing all right.
SSU: Well you look fast just sitting here…
Dimas: When I came up in a game in Salem I got thrown out going second to home, and they were like what’s going on are you ok? And I said I’m fine, what are you talking about? Are you hurt? No. Oh you’re just slow. I said looks are deceiving. I’m not fast.
SSU: What do you credit to your success so far?
Dimas: I want to say everybody. Firs off, my Dad. He’s the one that’s taught me everything baseball. And my family. They are the ones that keep me safe. They’ve been there my whole life. They’re the ones that sacrificed many things for me to play ball. Then all my coaches growing up, all my friends. All the people that gave me rides to games all the time. Right now Seattle’s been amazing, AZL was amazing, these guys have been amazing.
SSU: And finally will we be seeing you in Clinton next year?
Dimas: I hope so. That’s the plan.