Jose Trevino and the Yankees have been a perfect match.
Since arriving from the Texas Rangers in April, Trevino has established himself as the Bronx Bombers’ starting catcher with great results. His plus-8 framing runs are the best in baseball and his 54.3% strike rate doesn’t hurt either. In fact, Trevino’s pitch framing is in the 100th percentile. He’s also been a surprise at the plate, batting .255 en route to his first All-Star game appearance.
Trevino has also made an impact off the field. He’s been active in the team’s annual HOPE Week charity activities, appearing on “The Today Show” on Thursday with teammates Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rizzo.
Here are some must-make summer salads — and Gerrit Cole, Jose Trevino, and Anthony Rizzo from the @Yankees are trying them out ? pic.twitter.com/DVhLyzI5Fi
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 14, 2022
Trevino’s community service goes far beyond his work with the Yankees. Since his days with the Rangers, he’s been active with Big League Impact. This organization connects athletes with various charities and causes so that they can use their platform to give back to their communities.
ESNY had the chance to speak with Trevino recently about his work with Big League Impact. We also discussed baseball, family, and his journey to the Bronx.
How did you get involved with the Big League Impact charity? Who introduced you?
Kyle Gibson was actually the one who introduced me. I think it was last year. He asked me, “Hey, I do this thing every year where we pick an organization and we pick some things that we try to get, donate money. And it helps the charity.”
And I was like, “Dude, I’m in.” Just working with different charities since then, it’s been a cool experience. They do a really good job over there.
Have you always done a lot of community service in your life?
Yeah, a lot. I’ve always done a lot. Ever since I was younger, in high school, I would say. My high school coach brought me onto that. He was like, “Hey, you’re going to have a platform one day and be able to give back to people who are less fortunate.”
It’s funny you mention that. I was also a high school ballplayer and where I went, you couldn’t graduate unless you accumulated 60 hours of community service.
Yeah. I went to a private school, so that’s how I got introduced to it. You had to do community service hours every year, but the baseball team would always do more than what was needed.
So you’re a Yankee now! And you were traded to them pretty close to Opening Day. Take us through that experience and, subsequently, your first day with the Yankees.
You know, just picking up and moving is a process. But going to a new team, meeting new teammates, getting to know guys, getting to know the coaches, getting to know a lot of players. For a catcher, you’ve got to learn every pitcher and what they’re good at. At first, it was a lot. But now, pretty simple stuff. Get to know their strengths, their weaknesses, and then understanding everybody on the team’s personality.
First day as a Yankee was pretty crazy. I got in at, like, 3:00 in the morning in Tampa, and then I played that afternoon. I think I played nine innings. That was the first time that I played nine innings in spring training. So I was getting to catch all the guys that I needed to get to know, and it ended up working out really well.
Would you say that having ex-Rangers teammates Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Joey Gallo made for an easier transition?
Oh yeah. Definitely makes it easier. They tell you where to go. There wasn’t any people they told me to stay away from, you know? There wasn’t any. At all. So they were just like, “Hey, man. Just be yourself. They’ve been asking about you. Just go out there and do your thing.”
You and IKF are particularly close. You came up through the minors together. I read an article in the Dallas Morning News about yours and Isiah’s friendship and also your own relationship with your dad. It seems you two have a deep and special connection.
Izzy is good people, man. He’s a good dude. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great friend. I mean, his family is my family now. I feel like every time I see his family, I go up and give his mom a hug, give his dad a hug. But I came up with IKF and he’s done some great things. I’m super pumped for his career.
Let’s shift to catching talk. How has PitchCom been for you this year? That’s definitely a new experience for you and a lot of other catchers.
It’s been pretty simple. I mean, just getting used to the buttons. Honestly, it’s been good. I love the PitchCom. I don’t mind it at all. I feel it speeds the game up.
You and I, Jose, we actually share something in common. We both grew up playing ball with our dads, who are now gone, being told the same thing: “9th inning, Yankee Stadium, two outs.” What drew your dad to the Yankees?
Probably because they won. Probably because they were badass, honestly. I’m assuming because they were good. They were the best team at the time. Just as much as I like to win, I think that’s where I got it from, was my dad. I mean, he loved Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris. Talked about Reggie Jackson a lot.
And then we’d watch the Yankee games together, he’d be like, “Hey, that shortstop right there’s pretty good. That closer? He’s pretty good too. Yeah, the catcher’s pretty good.” He would point out all these guys to me and I’d be like, “Oh, these guys are really good.” Always hitting a home run or making a defensive play.
But I think he was sucked in by the winning of the New York Yankees.
I was in attendance at the game against the Orioles where you had a walk-off hit and shouted, “Papi!” to the sky, and that resonated with me. It was also an emotional day because of the horrible tragedy in Uvalde, in your home state of Texas, but it was also your dad’s birthday. Going into that game, were you anticipating a big night?
No! Honestly, I went in there like I do every night. With confidence, preparation, and just ready to play the game. But when I hit the home run, I was like, “Alright, this dude’s up to something up there. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take it.” But I came up in a big spot in the seventh [inning], got a big hit there, and I was like, “Alright, sweet. So we’re rollin’.”
As soon as the last inning came up, the inning we walked it off on, I was ready for it. I mean, I was like, “Alright, we’re either going to succeed or we’re going to fail trying to, so we’ll see what happens.” And it always helps to have a little extra help in your corner.
You’re not just a New York Yankee now, but an All-Star. You’ll be wearing the Yankee uniform in Los Angeles next week. When Aaron Boone called you into the office, did you have a feeling that was what he was about to tell you?
No, I thought it was going to be something about playing time, or a playing schedule. Like, “Hey, we’re going to have you play this game, and then this game, and then going into an off day.” Honestly, I had no idea. My mind was racing. I was like, “Oh, alright. Let’s see what this is about?”
That feeling, was it butterflies? Were you levitating off the couch?
I mean, I was excited. I was happy, I was pumped. Definitely a change of plans. I was going to go test drive a couple of cars in Texas, see if I liked one, and buy one and see where we’re at. But I guess that’s not going to happen again.
Your family, namely your son, have been following you around all season. Is he as into baseball as you were when you were young?
He’s definitely starting to get into it. He’s starting to want to hit the ball on his own. He’s like, “Hey, let’s play baseball.” I never got forced to play baseball. I never got forced to go practice. I never got forced to do anything baseball-related that I didn’t want to do. So for him to do that, it’s pretty cool. I’m not going to force him either.
If he says, “Hey, let’s hit the ball,” then I’ll say, “Alright, then we’ll hit the ball. Let’s play catch.” But if he doesn’t want to do it, he doesn’t want to do it. But as of late, he’s been wanting to hit the ball a lot more.
The Yankees, despite their great year, have been punched and knocked down a lot as of late, but always get back up. You’re in a small rough stretch now. How does this whole team just stay together and stay so focused and positive after a few bad losses?
I mean, people are calling it rough nights? I mean, three games? People have got to remember that what we’ve been doing is incredible. There’s no panic in this team. We have a good team. We believe in each other. And every night we go out there, we have the confidence we’re going to win that game no matter who’s in the dugout across from us.
It’s confidence. It’s believing in one another. It’s each of us doing our job. And if we go down, we’re going to go down swinging. We’re all going to go down giving our best efforts. But this rough stretch that people are talking about, this builds momentum. This builds character. This builds stuff and it makes teams closer. And I can’t wait. This quote/unquote “rough stretch” that people are talking about, I can’t wait to get out of it. And I know we will.
And I can tell you in that clubhouse, there’s not a lack of confidence. There’s no panic. We’re coming to the field every day and we’re excited to play.