Tidbits on him. Highly doubtful he signs with the Reds considering his dad coaches for the Yanks, but still you gotta love the fact that the Reds are in on him.
Francisco Pena was taking a few cuts in the batting cage at Yankee Stadium recently, working with his father, Tony, the Yanks' first-base coach. Alex Rodriguez watched, impressed with the kid's powerful swing.
"Alex asked, 'How old is he? 20?'" Tony Pena said. "I said, 'No, he's only 16.'
"Alex said, 'Wow.'"
A-Rod isn't the only baseball bigwig noticing Tony Pena's son these days. Francisco Pena is a hot international free agent who interests both the Yankees and Mets - Met GM Omar Minaya has scouted him - and scouts say Pena would be a first-round pick if he were part of Tuesday's amateur draft.
Francisco Pena got noticed for all the wrong reasons a few years ago when he was Danny Almonte's catcher during the Little League scandal. Francisco had his own eligibility issues, though not because of his age, but because he lives in the Dominican Republic, the Penas' year-round home.
Now baseball people are talking only about his skills and size (6-2, 200 pounds). "He has a chance to be an everyday catcher in the majors," said Junior Noboa, the Diamondbacks' director of Latin American operations. "He could hit 30-plus home runs. If he were in the States, he'd be a first-round pick."
The Yankees worked him out this spring, and other teams will get a closer look once his high school exams are done next week, said Leo Mercedes, one of his agents.
Francisco is only a junior, but even his father doesn't think he will be around for his senior year - Francisco can agree to a deal July 2, the signing date for 16-year-old international amateurs.