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Comments from LatinoMVP Award Candidates for the 33rd Annual Awards – Nestor Cortes Jr.

Nestor Cortes Jr. with his LatinoMVP T-Shirt following our interview - Image Credit: Latino Sports

TAMPA, FL– As I continued my journey across Florida this past weekend for our Latino MVP Award interviews with this year’s finalists, Nestor Cortes Jr. was next up, following his new teammate in pinstripes Carlos Rodón. 

Cortes Jr. had a phenomenal All-Star season in 2022, recording a career-high in strikeouts (163), outings (28), innings pitched (158.1), with an ERA of 2.44. He most certainly deserved to be nominated by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association as a finalist on the 33rd Annual LatinoMVP Award Ballot – 2022 American League LatinoMVP Pitcher Award. 

Nestor Cortes Jr. – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Provided below is our exclusive interview with Nestor Cortes Jr. learning about his name appearing on the 33rd Annual Latino MVP Award Ballot.

LS: Congratulations. You had a good season last year and you brought a lot of excitement to many Yankee fans. A lot of South Bronx residents are very happy, so congratulations from the Latino community in the Bronx. Thank you from the borough that has the most Latinos. I’m here today because you are a candidate on the ballot for the prestigious Latino MVP awards. The awards are commemorating 33 years and considered the most prestigious and are the oldest awards given to Latino baseball players. How do you feel about being on that ballot for the first time?

NC: Yeah, it’s a privilege and an honor to represent the Latinos around the world. I’m very happy I got nominated. You told me a little bit about the history, so I thought it was pretty cool that it’s been around for 33 years and hopefully I can come up winning this one. 

LS: What are your thoughts on the fact that there is an award exclusively for Latino baseball players. 

NC: I think it’s a good idea. Like I said, I heard you say the history and I thought it was pretty cool that Ruben Sierra won it first. Obviously, he’s a legend in our community and we know what he’s done for the game. I think this is good for all Latino players. Hopefully this is my turn this year.

LS: If you win this award, you should know we don’t give trophies and plaques, you probably got a whole room full of trophies and plaques. What we give is a painting an artistic rendition of yourself in uniform and we give the award on the field during Hispanic Heritage Month in September. How would you feel about getting an award during Hispanic Heritage Month?

NC: That would be great receiving it at Yankee Stadium having a unique painting, one of a kind painting of myself would be something I would love to add to my art collection. So hopefully I can win it.

LS: Last question. What are your projections for this year for yourself and for the team?  

NC: As for myself, I’ll try to make as much starts as possible. Try and have my team in the game every time and every time I’m pitching, giving them the opportunity to win. As for the team obviously, you know the goal is to win the World Series. Obviously, it all starts here in Spring Training, what we do and how we adjust. This is going to be an exciting season. We added some new pieces, new guys to the rotation and it’s going be fun. I’m excited to start the season.

LS: Now, back to the awards. You know that in the Grammys people brag saying that they were nominated as a candidate for a Grammy. Well since this award is considered the Latino Grammy of baseball, the fact that you are a candidate that’s an honor that you can always say you were a candidate.

NC: (Laughing) like I said I’m very happy and humbled by being a candidate. Being in the running for this is cool, hopefully I can win it.

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