BALTIMORE --- Jimmy Paredes is unquestionably the happiest surprise on the Orioles. In the four weeks since he rejoined the team, Paredes had safely in 20 of his first 23 games.
His success hasn’t changed him, Paredes said.
“I feel the same like in spring training. I have to compete. You have to play your game. You have to compete with another team,” Paredes said.
“I feel good because I want to be in the lineup every day. I’m getting the opportunity right now. I want to take advantage. Play my game the best I can to help my team win. It’s exciting being in the lineup every day. This team, every year competes. It’s exciting to be on a team that has a lot of players.”
Paredes has never been a fulltime major leaguer before. In 2011, he hit .286 for Houston in 46 games, but the 26-year-old felt he had never really gotten the chance to play in the big leagues.
“I work for that. I work doubly hard for this opportunity. This is my chance to show the people, the staff, those guys here, that I can do it, that I can stay on this level. If you work hard, you can get something. If they give me the opportunity. I trust myself, and I can do it,” Paredes said.
His teammates jokingly call him Babe Ruth, and it amuses Paredes.
“That makes me feel great because he’s a big legend. I said, ‘wow, they brought up that name. It’s a big name.’ You have to keep doing what you’ve been doing,” Paredes said.
His success has not gone unnoticed at home in Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic.
“They’re excited. They text me every day. They write in on Facebook. I say, ‘oh my god, they’re going crazy down there,’” Paredes said. “I’m excited because they trust me, they follow me every time. I love my people."