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Christian Vazquez

Twins catcher Christian Vazquez is constantly learning

Veteran catcher Christian Vazquez works to improve

HOUSTON – When Minnesota Twins’ catcher Christian Vazquez strolled into the visitors clubhouse at Minute Maid Park recently, he sat and adjusted his chair, picked up his book, put his feet up on the adjacent chair and began to read. 

Moments later, his fellow countryman Carlos Correa rushed to inquire about the book he read. Correa smiled, patted the Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native in the back and walked toward his other teammates who were watching the Cubs and Reds game on television. 

The pensive Vazquez dissected the book in search of advice to enhance his offensive performance. He was reading “The Mental Keys to Hitting: A Handbook of Strategies for Performance Enhancement” by the late Harvey Dorfman. As Vazquez aims to turn the page on his offensive production, he’s turned to a renowned mental coach for assistance. 

“He tells you that you don’t control the results,” Vazquez said. “You control how you prepare and go about your business.

“As a hitter we are always looking for a hit and saying, ‘I want to hit, I want to hit, I want to hit.’ When you swing the bat you can’t control where you hit it. You can control your thoughts and how you prepare before the game.”

Christian Vazquez focuses on mental aspects

Harvey Dorfman was a mental skills coach who worked with a few major league teams and mentored countless athletes to overcome the mental strains of baseball. He worked with Hall of Famer pitcher Roy Halladay, who credited Dorfman for transforming his legendary career with his book, “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching.”

In the mid-80’s Dorfman was hired by the Athletics as a mental performance coach. He joined the Marlins organization later. He’s also coached players like Jamie Moyer, Raul Ibañez, Brad Lidge and Greg Maddux to deal with the mental aspect of the sport.

Dorfman passed away in February 2011. His legacy remains today, though. Vazquez, 33, yearns for similar success that former acclaimed players had following Dorfman’s advice. 


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As Vazquez focuses on what he can control, his numbers at the plate haven’t deterred him from making an impact in the clubhouse. Usually jovial, the two-time World Series champion brings energy to the team. Vazquez also exemplifies hard work and has fit perfectly as a role model to the team. 

Usually a .250 plus hitter, the 5-foot-9 catcher is off to a slow start. He homered once, and has driven in seven RBIs in 34 games with the Twins. His batting average is under the Mendoza line. 

Defense remains strong

“I think that is my job as a veteran guy to put the pitchers on the right track, call a good game for them and be there for them every time I am on the field,” Vazquez said. “They trust me a lot. That is very important for a pitcher and catcher relationship. 

“It is something that you earn. All the experience I have and all the games I’ve caught in my career, I earned that relationship with them, and that is very important.”

There is no denying that Vazquez is still a student of the game in his lengthy career. His longevity in the majors is fostered by his keen eye to details and finding ways to raise his game. Reading about the mental aspect of hitting is just one example of how Vazquez tries to revamp his career.

“No, it doesn’t surprise me one bit,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Vazquez’s reading material. “Since the first day I’ve ever seen him play back when he was with Boston, he always stood out for his mind, his instinct, his awareness on the field and the decisions he makes.

“I wasn’t around him on a daily basis. But now the preparation he puts in, he cares and he has a great baseball mind. When you combine all those things you wind up with a very productive baseball player.”

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