As he gave hugs and said hello to people at the First Watch restaurant he often frequented as a player at ORU, one thing was apparent. Being drafted and being paid to play the sport that he loves hasn’t changed him at all. This is the same guy; he’s still smiling and making jokes as he’s always done.
Jose Trevino made a significant impact as an ORU baseball player with a .290 career batting average, 31 homeruns and 137 RBIs. His success as a Golden Eagle led the Texas Rangers to draft him in the sixth round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft.
Trevino got off to a blistering start to his pro career by hitting .309 with nine homeruns the first half of the season for the Spokane Indians. He was named to the Northwest League All-Star team.
As baseball season opens for his former team Trevino took the time to remember the things of his recent past, look at his present and ponder what the future holds.
Russell Dorsey: Last time we spoke you were on the way to sign your first contract. What was the whole draft experience like for you?
Jose Trevino: “(Laughing) Yeah. I was at my mom’s job in Alice, Texas. We were there hanging out watching the draft on TV. I was getting a lot of calls [from teams]. The fourth round came around I got a call saying ‘Hey, we’re going to go with somebody else.’ Fifth round comes around, get a call saying, ‘Not this round, but hopefully you’re there for us in the next round.’ Finally I get a call from Bobby Crook of the Texas Rangers in the sixth round and he said, ‘I see you haven’t been taken off the board.’ I said, ‘Nope.’ He said, ‘You ready to be a Texas Ranger?’ and I said, ‘Yes sir.’ Five seconds later we see it on the TV – Texas Rangers select Jose Trevino from Oral Roberts University. Family went crazy. I started getting phone calls from people. It was just exciting.”
RD: It’s a big decision to leave school early and go pro, but you obviously had a plan and the people around you needed to be successful.
JT: “As soon as I walked on campus I told them I didn’t want to be here for four years. My goal is to be drafted my third year and get out of here. So the coaching staff knew my plan. I had a plan and stuck to it. Since day one, I’ve worked hard for it, and it’s worked out.”
RD: The Texas Rangers drafted your friend and former teammate Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez in the first round in 2013, and then the Rangers make you their sixth round selection in 2014. What’s it like to be drafted by the same team as your friend “Cheech,” and to see him doing so well?
JT: “It was really good to see that. I’m pretty sure he had some input on it. He’s helped me out a lot. It’s really good to see how good he’s doing. I’m proud of him. It felt like we all made it when he got drafted. I wanted that to be the same for me. When I got drafted and my teammates were saying, ‘Congratulations, you did it.’ I was like, ‘Nah man, WE did it. Without y’all I wouldn’t have a team.’”
RD: Out of all the challenges you faced in your first year, what was the hardest part about playing professionally?
JT: “Honestly, it’s a grind. Seriously, it really is. You wake up every day to play, especially being a catcher. Your body goes through a lot of stuff. You’re going to get beat up a little bit more. You have to take care of yourself. You never know that one day you twist your ankle or hurt your finger, and a dude comes up, takes your spot and you’ll never see the field again.”
RD: What is your favorite pro ball moment up to this point? Was it your first game, first home run, being named to the NWL All Star Team?
JT: “I’d have to say the fourth of July. I hit a couple of homeruns, had a really good game. Took a pie to the face, my jersey sold really well. Actually scratch that. Another one, the day that we clinched the first-half championship. Oh my gosh. Probably the funnest day of my life. That was just unreal. I’ve had a lot of fun pro ball moments so far.”
RD: If somebody wanted to become a professional at something whether it’s as an athlete, singer, dancer, etc., what should they know?
JT: “You’ve got to have fun. If you’re not having fun doing it, you shouldn’t be doing it. And surround yourself with good people. You have your family, your foundation, your faith and put people around you who are going to care about you. By now, at this point in your life you should know who those people are. I’m glad I was here with these guys, because I knew that deep down inside they wanted what was best for me. That’s part of why I chose this school, because these people were good.”
RD: You get drafted and now you’re getting paid to play the sport you love. Did you ever worry about people hanging on because you were getting paid or have to cut people off?
JT: “No. When I was in high school, I already did that. I always surrounded myself with good people. You’re never going to catch me with a bad group of people. If I’m hanging out with them they’re not a bad group. I never had to cut anybody off or anything like that. I did all that before I came to college.”
RD: Looking back at your journey last year going from playing college ball for ORU, to getting drafted in June, to playing professional baseball, what did you learn?
JT: “If you give a helping hand to somebody, someone is going to help you in the future. I saw that here at ORU. There were never any problems, people were always nice. When you surround yourself with nice people like that, it’s going to rub off on you. And you’ve got to be generous. You’ve got to be willing to give when others don’t have something. If a kid doesn’t have Sodexo [bucks] or money for lunch, help them out. Same for us on the team, if a guy didn’t have money, we would cover him. That’s something people always did here.”
Trevino is preparing for minor league camp with the Texas Rangers and his first full season as a pro. Regardless of where he ends up and the success he has, one thing remains consistent about Trevino; when he walks into a room the same old smile walks in with him, because the guy behind it hasn’t changed.