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Comments from LatinoMVP Award Candidates for the 33rd Annual Awards – Jhoan Durán

Jhoan Durán, a finalist for the 2022 American League LatinoMVP Reliever/Closer Award - Image Credit: Latino Sports

SOUTH BRONX, NY — Continuing our efforts to interview every candidate that was on the 2022 LatinoMVP awards ballot, we caught up with Jhoan Durán when the Minnesota Twins came to New York.

As customary, we like to explain the history of the award as we know that many of these players have been receiving awards since they were children. Thus, we want them to understand why this award is different, how it started back in 1990 when many felt that Ruben Sierra of the Texas Rangers was overlooked for the American League MVP.

Once the players hear the history, they then have a totally different understanding and significance, and they value the fact that they made the ballot. They get to understand that this award is not just for them, but for the Latino community.

Community children and fans presenting LatinoMVP award to Robinson Canó in 2012 – Image Credit: Latino Sports

The following is our short interview with Jhoan Durán, a finalist for the 2022 American League LatinoMVP Reliever/Closer Award.

LS: The ballot for these awards is made when many sports journalists and members of the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association (LSWBA) from California to New York to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Mexico are asked to submit names of players who they think should be on the ballot for the LatinoMVP awards. Your name appeared enough times that it made it to the 2022 ballot. Though the voting is over, and the winners have been announced, we wanted to get your thoughts on knowing that this award exists and second that you were on that ballot?

JD: It really took me by surprise, I knew nothing of the award, but knowing now I believe the award is a very important award for us Latinos and I feel very proud to be on that ballot this year.

LS: And what do you think that there is an award exclusively for Latino baseball players?

JD: I think it’s good. It’s fine to recognize Latino players that sometimes might not get recognized. Every Latino player does their job well in the Major Leagues, but unfortunately, how can I say? An award like this is good to have, one of our own. We might get awards somewhere else, but this one is from the Latino community.

LS: You are young, and this is a good beginning being on the LatinoMVP ballot for the first time. We believe that the way you’re pitching you will be on the ballot again and believe that winning a LatinoMVP award is very close to your reach. You should know that we do not give plaques or trophies, but rather a piece of art, a rendition of you, the player. Again, you are young and still a lot of games to play. I look forward to giving you an award in the near future.

JD: It sounds good. Yes, I would like to have something like that.

LS: Mariano Rivera won it 7 times. Albert Pujols has won it nine times. Big Papi like three times. But simply that your name was on the ballot for these prestigious awards, you can say that you were on the ballot for these awards that are considered the Latin Grammy of baseball. (laughing)

JD: (Laughing) Yes of course, that’s for sure, that is for sure.

LS: Lastly, we do have a present for being on the ballot, this T-shirt that once we know your size, we will mail it to you. (We showed him the T-shirt, he smiles)

JD: My size is XL. (Johan smiled and posed for a picture holding the shirt)

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