New York Yankees catcher Erik Kratz was emotional after he was asked about his experience working with the team’s young Hispanic pitchers.
Career backup catcher Erik Kratz loves being a New York Yankee, and now we have proof.
Speaking to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Kraz was moved to tears when asked about working with prospect Deivi Garcia and other young Hispanic pitchers.
I have talked to a lot of young Latin pitchers who have worked with Erik Kratz and so many of them praised how much he has helped them in their careers (he has even worked on his Spanish!) I asked him about it. And this happened. I'm not crying, you're crying. pic.twitter.com/FjNgM7Rbhn
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 4, 2020
Kratz has spent most of this shortened season at the Yankees’ alternate site in Pennsylvania with the team’s youth. He has obviously gotten to know them closely, especially Garcia. The veteran backstop went viral when going out for Garcia’s MLB debut last weekend when he excitedly said, “I can’t wait to play catch with my son!”
Kratz and Garcia were also caught on camera sharing a hug after the youngster’s successful start.
Looks like Deivi Garcia’s MLB debut is over.
His final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (not earned), 6 K, 0 BB, 75 pitches, and another BIG hug from Erik Kratz. pic.twitter.com/KuzAtAGzqh
— Marc Malkoskie (@marcmalkoskie) August 30, 2020
And despite his age, Erik Kratz only has 324 games in the majors under his belt. This means a lot of time in the minors helping develop young pitchers. Though he was never a star on the major league level, it doesn’t matter. This is something Kratz clearly takes seriously and enjoys as part of the job.
“I love seeing what they can do,” Kratz said. He added a lot of these players also leave their families behind at home, which must be hard. He just wants to be there for them even if his Spanish “isn’t that good.”
Long story short, any MLB team would be lucky to have an Erik Kratz-type in the dugout. It’s rare for any team to have a player who not only has played for so long, but who still cares after so many years.
Erik Kratz will be behind the plate later tonight when Deivi Garcia starts Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles.