The twenty-one year old is sure seeing results, hitting an astounding .462 from the left side of the plate and .500 from the right. Red Sox manager George Lombard couldn't be prouder of Pineda's early hit streak.
"He's one that I think every coach takes a little pride in and is excited to see him do well because he's such a hard worker," Lombard said. "He shows up everyday early, trying to do all the drills.
"We're extremely excited to see him bunting as well as he is and this kid comes in probably four days a week and bunts early. I think he's 5-of-6 in bunt attempts this year and two of them have been sacrifice bunts and he just beats them out.
"His hard work is starting to pay off. It's exciting to have him and see him doing well."
"Everyday I'm practicing my routine and trying to be consistent in my routine," a humble Pineda said.
Pineda, like any hitter, is tweaking his approach in the batter's box and reaping success. After appearing in just 16 GCL games last season with a meager .140 batting average, his 2012 numbers speak for themselves. Pineda hits for a .474 overall average and leads the team in RBIs to start the season.
"He's starting to get a load and use his hands," Lombard commented. "Your power comes from your lower half and he's a strong kid, but he's always kind of been a slap hitter. Now he's starting to drive the ball. He was second on the team in home runs in Extended [Spring Training]."
"I'm changing all the time, little changes," the Hormingo, DR, native said. "I'm trying to concentrate more in my approach. I feel really good and feel like I've improved since [Spring Training].
"I'm in a better place and feeling good now. I like hitting from the left and right, both. I feel good at either side of the plate, [but] the left side is better for me and being fast and bunting for a chance at a base hit."
That previously raw speed is starting to show itself at game time.
"This is the first year that his speed is starting to play on the field," Lombard said.
"I mean, you can see the fastest guys in the world, but they don't know how to steal bases, they don't know how to use their speed in the outfield, they don't get good jumps and so their speed doesn't really play. He's doing it all."
The centerfielder has been a vocal leader in the outfield for the Red Sox this season. Pineda makes sure the entire stadium is aware of just how many outs there are in any particular inning, and his coaching staff loves that energy.
"Goose [Gregson], the pitching coordinator here, and Walt [Miranda, pitching coach] are yelling that they can hear him all the way from centerfield and it's contagious on all of them [the players and coaches]," Lombard said.
"One of the first things we tell the guys is that we want you to have as much fun as possible. I played for 16 years and it goes by like this," he emphasized with a snap of his fingers.
"He's a kid that when you look at him, he looks like he's having fun on the field. He knew no English when he got here, and when I just tripped going out on the field over one of the sand bags, I heard him say, ‘Watch out!'"
GCL manager George Lombard also knows that Pineda's efforts each day on the field will not go unnoticed, not even by those calling the shots in the New England town up north.
"One of the reasons we play on this field is because there are cameras streaming the games. And all the guys up in Boston, the rovers, will tell you that they watch these games because we play at 12 o'clock and there's nothing going on.
"Up there in [General Manager Ben] Cherington's office, they have all the TVs with all the games playing, and we're the only ones that play the noon games or 10 am games.
"We said it was a sellout down here the other day when there was what, 20 people in the stands, but we know more are watching."
"I like baseball. I want to practice everyday, hard," Pineda stressed. "I like my teammates and playing with them."
Lombard, above it all, likes the switch-hitter's progression in Fort Myers.
"I tell the guys that you're either going two ways in this game: you're either getting better or you're getting worse. Everyday we go out there, we try to get better, and if you have a rough day, there's always tomorrow in this game."
"I want to play in the big leagues. I want to get better, maybe two years, I think," Pineda concluded with what could easily be described as fire in his eyes. "I want to be in the big leagues."
FORT MYERS, FL – Jeremias Pineda, a 2010-2011 international signing period pick up out of the Dominican Republic, is calling centerfield home these days with the GCL Red Sox. Described early in his career as a raw athlete with incredible speed, Pineda wakes up every day ready and wanting to hone those skills.
Pineda Capitalizing On Raw Tools
Jeremias Pineda has a ton of talent and it's starting to show up in games now.
GCL Red Sox Beat Writer
Pineda's speed is really starting to show
Jun 25, 2012