Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the young Boston infielder had a lot of role models to look up to including Sammy Sosa and former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez. In a place where baseball isn’t just a sport, the young Ciriaco was like a sponge absorbing whatever he could from the successes of his predecessors.
“I grew up watching Manny, Sammy Sosa, guys like that,” Ciriaco told MLB.com. “I really like Manny, the way he hits.”
But, for Ciriaco, it’s never too late to learn. The youngster plans to train this offseason with Yankees second baseman and fellow DR native Robinson Cano. The Yankee has become one of the most dominant hitters in all of Major League Baseball, but the two don’t let the AL East rivalry get in the way of training together.
“I knew him a little bit before [this year] — we’re from the same town and his dad has a facility for players, and I remember my coaches, they practiced with him,” said Ciriaco, regarding his relationship with Cano.
This past season, Ciriaco was used in a number of roles defensively for the Red Sox, but as he develops further as a Major League player, he will likely begin to settle into one position. Over the course of the year, the 27-year-old played every outfield position, and every infield position with the exception of first base.
With so many resources and support groups in his home country, a team could not ask for a better offseason environment for the young utility man to grow even further as a player. Hopefully for Red Sox Fans, Ciriaco is the next of a long line of players hailing from the Dominican Republic to have hall of fame success in Major League Baseball.