While he may not yet be a household name, it won’t be long before every baseball fan knows the name Jeremy Pena. The Houston Astros rookie has enjoyed a breakout season as a shortstop replacement for Carlos Correa. At 25-years-old, Pena has already racked up an impressive number of achievements.
“Jeremy Pena is literally a Houston superstar wowThe amount of love H-Town has shown towards him is insane. To see his journey after meeting him on July 4th has been unreal. He’s become 1 of the biggest names who’s playing for Houston right now. #Astros” – Maanav Gupta
Pena was named the American League Gold Glove winner at shortstop, as well as being selected as the ALCS MVP for his performances against the New York Yankees. He became the first Astros rookie to win a Gold Glove, and the first rookie ever to win a Gold Glove at shortstop in MLB history.
Jeremy Pena’s rise to MLB stardom
Pena was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before moving to Maine at the age of nine with his parents Cecilia and Geronimo Pena. His father, Geronimo, is a former major leaguer who was born in the Dominican Republic in 1967.
Geronimo spent five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and one with the Cleveland Indians. Over his career, he has hit 30 home runs and 124 RBIs, while amassing a .262 batting average.
Jeremy played high school baseball in Maine, before being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 39th round. Pena declined to sign with the team, choosing to attend the University of Maine instead.
“nice stop by Astros prospect Jeremy Pena (considered in his draft year to be maybe the best defensive SS in college baseball) + smooth scoop by Marlins 1B prospect Lewin Díaz” – Cespedes Family BBQ
After a successful collegiate career, he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the third round of the 2018 draft. In November of 2021, the Astros selected Pena’s contract. Through 182 games at the minor league level, the 6’0″ shortstop hit 18 home runs, 85 RBIs, and 201 hits.
Entering the 2022 season, Pena was named the starting shortstop for the Astros, replacing the polarizing Carlos Correa, who left the team in free agency. Peña batted .253 with 132 hits, 22 home runs, and 63 RBIs. He also tied Correa for the shortstop rookie record for home runs.
A look at the Houston Astros’ offseason additions
While Houston is coming off a World Series title, they did say goodbye to reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. However, the club did land former Chicago White Sox MVP Jose Abreu on a three-year contract.
The slugging first baseman should fit seamlessly into the Astros’ lineup, which remains one of the strongest in the MLB. Abreu will likely bat behind the likes of Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena.