Baseball has been a part Brendon Jimenez for his entire life. The Riviera baseball player said it was the only sport he’s played since attending Kaufer High School, but because it’s the sport he knew he could excel at if all his focus was locked into playing on the diamond.
Shortly after crossing the stage at his high school graduation, Jimenez received word that his hard work playing high school ball paid off.
Beginning in the fall of 2019, Jimenez will begin his collegiate career as a second baseman for the Laredo Community College Palominos.
Jimenez said LCC was a familiar option for him when he was deciding where to play at the next level, because he had a sibling who also attended the junior college to play ball as well.
“My sister played softball there,” Jimenez said. “So, I was thinking ‘I’ve seen the campus and it’s a nice campus. I think I can (play baseball) here.’ So then I went to the tryout, and the coach liked me. He (the coach) called me and said, ‘you’ve got a spot on the roster,’ so I just made the choice to go over there.”
Jimenez said selecting an opportunity closer to home also played a factor in his decision, especially because he wanted to make his family proud and give them an opportunity to see him play at another level.
“My parents told me they are proud of me,” Jimenez said. “Laredo is an hour and a half, two hour drive, and they wanted me to go just to see what I could make out of myself. This has always been a dream of mine to play at the next level, after high school. So, they told me, ‘This is what you need to do and this is what you want to do, so go for it.’ They were perfectly fine with it and extremely proud.”
Jimenez is still unsure of what degree path he wants to pursue, but he said he is fine with making the decision down the line.
“I wanted to do architecture and I guess go for interior design in that,” Jimenez said. “But if not, if one day, I’m like ‘I want to do something more or change my major,’ then I wouldn’t be sure what I would do honestly. I’m still a little indecisive, I guess.”
As for the transition from high school ball to college, Jimenez is expecting the pace to pick up while playing day-to-day.
“I’m going to see a lot faster pitching for sure, and talent is going to be ridiculous,” Jimenez said. “Laredo is in one of the toughest conferences for a JuCo, so it’s going to be crazy. Seeing those athletes compared to high school, the competition is way higher. It’s going to be way better competition for sure. Tempo will be faster in the game a lot.”
Although Jimenez will attend the program as a position player, he said he hopes he can also take a crack at doing some work on the mound as well.
“I mean, pitching is in me, I guess, because I had two uncles that went pro; they played for the Dodgers and the Pirates and they were solid pitchers,” Jimenez said. “If they (LCC) ask me to pitch, then I will. If they like me pitching, hopefully I can get stronger there. But if not, then I’ll just stay at second.”
Jimenez said he hopes he can advance his career to bigger and better places after attending LCC.
“I think I will stay for two years and then hopefully transfer to a bigger school,” Jimenez said. “But if not, then I mean, it happens, you know, I guess I’m going to have to bust my butt just to get somewhere I want to be. So hopefully, I can go somewhere big. A big D-I school, maybe? I’ll be perfectly fine with that. But until then, who knows?”
Jimenez thanked his parents, family, friends and coaches for all their support through the process of becoming a collegiate athlete, and said he is happy he was able to make everything happen for his future.
And to other athletes who could potentially be in his position, he had some advice to share.
“Just work hard; you can’t get anywhere in this game if you’re not working for it,” Jimenez said. “If you don’t want it bad enough, then you can’t get that. And you know, you have to be good in the classroom, too. Just be a consistent and great student athlete.”