Jeremy Peña is the talk of Fanfest
Fanfest is today! Always one of the off-season highlights, Fanfest reunites Astros fans with players, the coaching staff, and even front office members. Fans are able to sit in on interviews, take batting practice swings down in the cage, visit autograph sessions and plenty more.
Countless intriguing sound bites come out of a day like today, and we’ll be reacting to all of them.
Reigning ALCS and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña has been a big attraction at Fanfest, and for good reason. Without him, the Astros likely don't make their sixth straight ALCS, and even if they do, they likely don't win it, much less the World Series. He successfully replaced an All-Star shortstop in Carlos Correa and navigated the big moments of October.
Just ask Jose Altuve how impactful the rookie was.
While it may be easy to rest on his laurels after receiving that adulation from a future Hall-of-Famer,
Peña is far from satisfied.
First, Peña had this to say to an Astros fan caravan when asked for his 2023 goals:
"I think the only goal is to do it again."- Jeremy Peña
Not a batting title. Not an MVP. Not 30 home runs. Not another Gold Glove. He just wants another ring. That kind of one-track mind focused solely on winning is the mindsight that has made the Astros so elite for the last six seasons.
Peña doubled down on his focus for next season, saying this today at Fanfest:
"“Last year’s in the past. The goal is to turn the page. There’s a lot of work to be done and I feel good physically, mentally. We have a great team and we all know what has to get done going to the spring.”"- Jeremy Peña
Last year is in the past and it's time to turn the page. Now that is refreshing to hear from an up-and-coming superstar in the making.
No team has repeated as World Series champion since 2000. Last time the Astros won a title, they bowed out in five games in the following ALCS. If Houston is to repeat, the combination of an elite skillset and an even more outstanding mindsight from their young shortstop will be a big reason as to why.