What’s it like to play in the Big Leagues? Three Falcons 12U players sat down with former Mets starter Pedro Beato this past Martin Luther King Day to find out.
Beato, a 6’6” Dominican pitcher who spent his childhood in Ridgewood, Queens, played for Youth Services League, where he got to know Falcon’s leadership Luis Monell and Charles Lalane.
After his debut with the Mets, Beato played with the Red Sox, Braves and Phillies. Currently a free agent, the big righty racked up 60 strikeouts in four wins and two losses, earning a 4.31 career ERA.
The interview took place on Monday, January 2020 at the home of the Falcons, Premier Baseball Performance Center in Ozone Park, with 12Us players Nate Fuller, Lowell Golub and Joaquin Paz.
The boys came prepared with questions and Beato dished advice on training, staying focused and staying healthy. A lightly edited transcript is below.
Nate: What is the best decision you made regarding your baseball career?
Pedro: When I was younger I was very dedicated about baseball ... I was the guy that wanted to be working out, didn’t want to go places unless it was baseball related.
Joaquin: How often do major leaguers train?
Pedro: We train actually almost every day except on off days. During the season our day starts at 12 o'clock we get to the ball field and we prepare for the day.
Lowell: What’s it like to have like 40,000 fans watching you at the stadium and knowing that many more are watching on TV?
Pedro: At first it was a little nerve wracking. There was a time I faced the Cardinals and gave a homerun and the whole stadium went as loud as it can get and I went deaf for a couple of seconds.
Joaquin: Do you have any advice on how to deal with high-pressure situations?
Pedro: I think it’s more of zoning in forgetting about everything that's going on. Just think about what you can control which is that nine inch ball in your hand. Remember that you have 7 guys behind you that want the ball.
Nate: What was your favorite pitch to put a hitter away?
Pedro: It had to be my splitter, I throw it at any count, it was one of my strikeout pitches.
Lowell: What advice do you have to get to the MLB ?
Pedro: Stay focused and work hard enough so that you don’t have any regrets in the future. Be the guy that says: “I gave it my all, maybe it didn’t work out, but at least I gave it all I had.”
Nate: What positions did you play besides pitcher at a young age ?
Pedro: I played shortstop, third base, the whole outfield, I caught when I was younger, played first a lot, probably the only position I think I played once in my whole career was second base.
Lowell: What advice do you have to keep your arm healthy?
Pedro: I think it is something that people don't think about other than working it out, beating it down with weights and workouts. I think it's more rest. I think people don't give the arm enough rest to be able to recover.
Joaquin: How do you learn to handle high-pressure situations?
Pedro: That is one of the reasons why my company is called, High Leverage Baseball. High Leverage comes from pitchers that come in, like closers or set up men. Those are pitchers that come in high pressure.