Baseball is in Jeremy Pena’s blood.
His father, Geronimo Pena, played parts of seven seasons in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians.
The next step in Jeremy Pena’s career will be at the college level, where he plans to play for the University of Maine.
Geronimo Pena confirmed that his son has verbally committed to attend UMaine starting in September of 2016.
“We have received a lot of offers,” the elder Pena said during an interview conducted in Spanish.
“Coach Nick [Derba] and coach [Steve Trimper] have shown a lot of interest, and I like the way they have treated us,” said Pena, who feels a kinship with Derba, who played in the Cardinals farm system.
Jeremy Pena, a shortstop, is completing his junior season at Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island. The Purple finished the season with a 14-8 record, losing to North Smithfield in the semifinals finals of the Division II Regional Tournament 4.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Pena has been a defensive whiz for Classical. During the regular season, he batted .352 with eight doubles and 11 runs batted in. Pena also scored 21 runs and stole nine bases.
“He has the smoothest hands, for his age, of any kid I’ve ever had. He makes the hard plays look easy,” said Franklin Salcedo, the coach of the Providence Sports and Leadership AAU team on which Pena plays.
Salcedo, the older brother of UMaine junior catcher Jonathan Salcedo, said Pena also has a good approach at the plate.
“He reminds me of Xander Bogaerts [of the Boston Red Sox],” Franklin Salcedo said. “It’s very rare you’ll see him swing out of the zone. He’s patient, has quick hands.”
Pena chose UMaine over offers from Bryant University and the University of Rhode Island.
UMaine head coach Steve Trimper is prohibited by NCAA rules from commenting on a prospective student-athlete until he has signed a National Letter of Intent. The early signing period is in November.