ITW recently sat down with Carolina League all-star and Frederick Key's second baseman, Paco Figueroa. Figueroa was drafted in the ninth round of the 2005 draft. On the year, he's hitting .296 with 27 walks in 294 at bats. He's also registered 19 stolen bases, displaying the well rounded skill set that has made him the top middle infield prospect in the Orioles system.
ITW: How'd it feel to get selected to the all-star game this year?
Paco: Good. I didn't end up going because I fractured my finger but I was proud of myself for a good first half.
ITW: How's the finger feel?
Paco: It feels great. It's sore once in a while but you just play through it.
ITW: How's facing the pitching here in he Carolina League for the first time?
Paco: It's good. It's a good league and you have some good pitchers in this league.
ITW: Which one of your pitchers would you least like to face?
Paco: Uhhh… Fredy Deza.
Paco: He's got, I think, the nastiest stuff in the league. He's got a fastball that runs in on your hands at 93, 94 and then he comes with the slider. But, our pitching staff… I wouldn't want to face them.
ITW: What would you say your biggest weaknesses are as a hitter?
Paco: Weakness, huh? I don't really want to focus on the weaknesses, but, mainly, I just gotta say that I'm not a power hitter. But hitting home runs is not my job, my job is to drive the ball in the gaps and get on base for my teammates.
ITW: What kind of daily regimen do you go through to keep yourself healthy?
Paco: You know, just eat right. It's a long season and you play tons of games, so eating right is definitely important to keep your body in shape and, also, we go work out with the trainers two or more times per week.
ITW: What do those work outs consist of?
Paco: Basically, some upper body stuff one day and then lower body. And the third day is just both all together and that keeps you in shape.
ITW: What are your goals for this year and next?
Paco: My goal is to win a championship here. We've got a very good team to do it, so hopefully it'll happen. That's my goal for now, but also I'd like to stay healthy. That's very important at this professional level. I'd also say that a main goal is just to get better every year and, of course, my dream is to play in the big leagues.