Malo Pleased With Current Positioning
Jonathan Malo came off from the field after taking his round of grounders as he prepped for his first day at shortstop, four hours before the first pitch. The bright Buffalo morning was marred only by the heavy gusts of wind that made a fly ball as easy as catching a Niekro knuckleball—but, the weather had no negative impact on this player, who politely smiled, shook my hand and uninhibitedly sat down with me for a quick, informal chat.
The demeanor of the Buffalo Bisons utility infielder is cordial, amiable, humble and hardworking. The 25-year-old fielder exhibits the tendencies of any likeable underdog, a person who pushes against the odds and responds through determination and persistence.
He has been an invariable journeyman traveling from various minor league Mets affiliates since he was drafted in 2002 in the 40th round—never getting a sniff at the big leagues, much less Triple A ball, until this year.
"Sometimes you just feel like giving up, but you can't do that since you've been doing this your whole life; it's been my dream since I was a little kid and I'm going to keep playing until they tell me I can't play anymore," Malo stated.
"You can't just quit in this game, especially when you've played it your entire life. I will play until they tell me that they don't need me anymore," he said laughing.
Having grown up in Montreal, Jonathan followed the Expos as a young ball player, taking interest in Vladimir Gerrerro, and, spoke about having played with Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers during his high school days. He says he still maintains a strong respect for both players due to their work ethic and commitment to the game.
Although his childhood days of rooting for the Expos are gone, just like the MLB team in Montreal—Jonathan said that he could not have asked for a better team to play for, finding a home within the New York Mets organization.
"I've been with the Mets for five years and I've enjoyed my time; any team that is willing to give me a chance is the one I'm behind," he said.
The Mets organization could not ask for a more-well rounded and dedicated player; both mentally and physically. An added bonus with Malo is his intense desire to succeed at whatever level baseball he is involved with, while his commitment is evident based on a lengthy track record over the past five years.
Now, having reached Triple A ball, Malo looks to continue developing, and hopefully finding himself in the Majors, "You play for so long and you love this game and, just seeing those guys in the big league and playing, it really makes you want to be there with them."
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