Q&A With 2015 Minnesota Commit: Eduardo Estrada



Eduardo Estrada

Eduardo Estrada Jr., MIF, Litchfield HS, Class of 2015

PBR: Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
ESTRADA: I chose the Minnesota because I always dreamt of playing baseball for the Gophers as a little kid. When I first visited the baseball team and met them along with the coaches; I fell in love with the atmosphere and the program made me feel very welcome. The coaching staff is filled with veteran coaches that have been playing and coaching the game their entire life. Along with the experience, I think the most charitable trait the coaches possess is the desire to build a relationship between themselves and their recruits and players. In the time I have been recruited by Coach Fornasiere and Coach Andersen; they have both mentored me and given advice that will be helping me in the process of hopefully a long baseball career. I think I have become good friends with all of my coaches. Especially Coach Fornasiere. I also chose Minnesota because it’s a lot easier for my family and friends to come watch me play which became very important in my decision.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?
ESTRADA: I was originally committed to Illinois my sophomore summer, but decided during the Spring of my junior year to re-evaluate my decision.

PBR: Where did they first see you? How did your relationship develop with the coaching staff?
ESTRADA: The coaches first saw me at a showcase in Milwaukee. It was a showcase for the Midwest Classic organization to choose a Team Minnesota to play in a tournament later in the summer. The first game they came to was against Orono and I was playing catcher. The relationship started after that. I emailed Coach Fornasiere and thanked him for coming to watch me play and he emailed me back expressing his interest.

PBR: What role do you expect to play your first year on campus?
ESTRADA: I expect to go into practice with the same work ethic I’ve pride myself on having and get the opportunity to work with great coaches. I’ll work on my weaknesses and strive for perfection. With hard work, my ultimate goal is to have the opportunity to start for the Gophers.

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?
ESTRADA: My father. I have the utmost respect and confidence when I say he has been the best coach I’ve had. He has taught me everything I know. He teaches me the same things other highly respected coaches teach as well. I firmly believe he has put me in a great situation in the way of practicing and preparing every day to have a chance to succeed.

PBR: What have you worked on/ improved on since last year?
ESTRADA: In feedback from coaches and Coach Fornasiere; I need to continue to improve my arm strength. I have been working on my legs, shoulders, and arms to improve my flexibility and strength. I am also utilizing a long toss program to continue to develop in that area.

PBR: Who is the toughest player you have faced in Minnesota?
ESTRADA: Probably current Gopher Toby Hanson. We faced them every year in playoffs. Last year we beat them in section finals but they worked their way back and we squared off again in the finals. He always had clutch hits and they were a tough team; even when we pitched around him other guys stepped up and produced.

PBR: What are your thoughts on the recruiting process? Any advice for younger players beginning the process?
ESTRADA: Recruiting has evolved and has become a fast process. My advice would be is to get to know the coaches, be patient and don’t rush your decision, and never doubt what you want and what’s important to you. Take into consideration what your family wants; but ultimately it’s a decision that’s going to affect your life for the next 50 years. The education part is equally as important as the baseball. Be grateful for the opportunity to go through the process. You are blessed to have the opportunity that not everyone has the chance to do.

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