Drafted as the Angels’ top draft choice in 2012 (3rd round) out of Florida Atlantic University, relief pitcher Roy Emilio Alvarez (R.J) began the season with 19 scoreless innings. An elbow/forearm injury sidelined him for 32 games, and he was activated from the disabled list on June 25. Alvarez is considered one of the Angels’ top prospects and his time in the Big Leagues could come soon.
So, first question, how did R.J. come about?
Roy Emilio is my dad’s name, too, and R.J. is short for Roy, Jr.
What’s it like being considered on the fast track to the Big Leagues?
It’s nice to have the organization think so. I also feel there’s a target on your back with the other teams and feel they think they need to have their best at bat. It’s nice to see the organization likes me.
You used to be a starter in college but switched to reliever. What led to that change?
It started my junior year after playing in summer league; I started throwing in the bullpen some and got some saves. I tried starting a few times but was good for a few innings and then got kind of wild. Switching was good for me.
You are known for your fastball (97 mph range). When did you first realize you could throw hard?
I had never pitched competitively until my junior year in high school. I was told I threw pretty hard and kept working at it. I think it is natural and also I have a quick arm.
Talk about your injury? Is it your first?
It is the first time. I pitched in a game for two innings and afterward my forearm was tight and sore. The next day it was worse. When it happened, they (the organization) sent me to the Angels rehab. I knew it wasn’t too bad, but they wanted to be extra cautious.
Any routines or superstitions before you pitch?
I’m not superstitious. I like to hang out in the bullpen and be loose and easy. If I can tell in the sixth or seventh inning that I might go in, I will start to focus and get ready.
What do you do in the offseason?
I’m from South Florida, and I deep sea fish. The biggest I caught was a 400 lb. bluefish, but I mainly fish for sailfish and mahi mahi. I tried bass fishing, but it doesn’t do it for me.
Ever any thoughts about pursuing deep sea fishing as a career?
I thought about getting my captain’s license, but I’ve just been too busy. I’ve been playing baseball since I was young and my dad got me into it. He played a while in college and has always coached me.
Any goals besides the Big Leagues?
Just to do good every night and go out every day and do my best and keep the lead for my team.