ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Austin Pierzynski

Pierzynski has been helping lead the Royals this season on the baseball field as the team’s starting catcher.

Austin Pierzynksi
Austin Pierzynksi
Photo by Andrea Mujica
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The First Academy sophomore and catcher Austin Pierzynski has been helping lead the Royals this season on the baseball field as the team’s starting catcher. The Royals currently remain undefeated with an overall 5-0 record as of press time Tuesday, March 7.

Tell us about your years as a baseball player. 
I’ve been playing for as long as I can remember. My dad played in the MLB, so I was on the field with him every day. Baseball has been in my life pretty much since I was a kid. 

Did you ever consider any other sports?
Baseball was always the main one. I played basketball and football in middle school and lower school, but I was always focused on baseball, mostly.

What do you love most about baseball as a sport?
I think just the camaraderie with your team. Especially as a catcher, you have to bond with your pitcher and know everything that’s going on, so I really like that. … The mental part also. (Baseball) is more mental instead of physical, so you always have to know what’s going on. You’ve got to be smart (on the field) and all that.

What is your favorite part about catching?
Just controlling the game. I always feel like I’m in control. You are involved in every single play. 

What do you believe baseball has taught you not only on the field but also off it?
To deal with failure, because you fail seven out of 10 times, and you are (still) really good. I think in school, you succeed more than you fail. In most other sports, you succeed more than you fail. But in baseball, you fail more than you succeed.  

Do you have a favorite drill at practice? 
I think just throw downs, probably. That’s the main thing I work on with catching — just throwing the ball down. 

What do you think makes you a unique catcher on the baseball field?
I really think I receive the ball well, and I think I have a unique relationship with the pitchers. I think we are on the same page most of the time. 

How do you believe you instill leadership in your team? 
I think just leading by example. I am not really a yeller or stuff like that, but I just kind of do the right thing and trust them to follow my lead. 

Do you have a favorite MLB player?
Right now, I really like Jose Trevino. I really like how he catches. 

What is your favorite baseball team?
The White Sox; that’s where I grew up. That’s where my dad played the longest. 

What’s your favorite hobby? 
Probably hanging out with friends, fishing or playing video games. 

What do you like to do on the weekends? 
Hang out with friends, go to church on Sunday — pretty much every Sunday — and baseball. 

What’s your favorite music? 
Country. (My favorite singer is) Morgan Wallen. 

Who is your favorite superhero? Why? 
Maybe Batman, because he doesn’t have any actual superpowers; he’s just rich and smart. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? 
Probably teleportation, just because it’s the most useful. You could go anywhere you want at any time. 

What are three places you would like to visit? Why? 
I want to go to Japan, because I’ve heard the baseball there is crazy. Someplace in Africa — do a safari or something like that to see all the animals. Probably a tropical place like Bora Bora, where I could go scuba diving. 

Which one would you choose: Instagram, BeReal or TikTok? 
Instagram; I don’t have BeReal or TikTok. 

If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be and why?
Probably Jesus’ time, just to see Him.

What color would you say represents your personality? 
Probably green. It’s kind of laid-back. Not standing out that much — just go with the flow. 

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be and why? 
Some type of fish; I want to breathe underwater. 



Andrea Mujica

Staff writer Andrea Mujica covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. When she’s not on the sidelines, you can find Andrea coaching rowers at the Orlando Area Rowing Society in Windermere.