Fuentes is making a name for himself with Isotopes - Albuquerque Journal

Fuentes is making a name for himself with Isotopes

Isotopes third baseman Josh Fuentes, shown during Thursday’s game against Reno, is the cousin of Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado but says he’d like to be known as a good ballplayer.

Josh Fuentes attributes his recent hot hitting to plain and simple hard work and preparation. But there could be other factors why the Isotopes’ third baseman is leading Albuquerque with 54 hits, which is also tied for second in the Pacific Coast League.

There’s the matter of his bloodlines. Yes, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is his cousin. That’s what it says in every story or TV sports segment about Fuentes, who says Arenado is a great mentor and credits Arenado with helping him become a pro ballplayer.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Fuentes said of being Arenado’s younger cousin by two years. “But I feel like at this level I’d like to be known as Josh Fuentes, not Nolan’s cousin. But it also doesn’t help that he plays my position and he’s above me.”

Fuentes then laughed a bit and jokingly said, “One of us has to go.”

Arenado could probably lend Fuentes some more advice after Thursday night, when Fuentes had just one hit. But the Isotopes (21-20) defeated the Reno Aces, 8-2, as right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman (10 strikeouts, no runs allowed in 6⅔ innings) and Jordan Patterson (two home runs) provided some of the highlights in front of 8,120 fans at Isotopes Park.

Fuentes had been hot entering Thursday night’s game against Reno (17-24).

He hit .452 (19-for-52) with four doubles and nine RBIs over his previous 10 games. He also recorded three four-hit games during that span.

Fuentes admitted he has some superstitions but he wouldn’t say that has anything to do with his recent play.

However, music has always been a strong love. He’s an eclectic music-lover, who enjoys rap, reggae, country and rock. Currently, he’s been listening to the rapper Post Malone.

Fuentes, who is from Orange County, Calif., went to his roots with his walk-up song, as he has Kid Ink’s “Cali Dreamin,” which features music from the classic song “California Dreamin'” from The Mamas & the Papas.

He said he’s sticking with that song because he’s been playing so well with it. A few weeks ago, he had ASAP Mob’s “Yamborghini High,” but after a couple bad games, he said he had to change it.

Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill said he’s not surprised by the way Fuentes is playing.

“He’s a first-time Triple-A player who has settled in pretty nicely,” Hill said of Fuentes. “He feels like he can play here. He plays relaxed so that’s always the focus when you have first time Triple-A players. You want them to come up and feel like they can relax and do what they do.”

Though Fuentes is relaxed, he has an energetic personality that also shows in his motivation to become a consistent third baseman for the Isotopes.

In the press box before Thursday’s game a couple of pro team scouts talked about Fuentes and his recent play. They also said he wasn’t much of a player in high school at Trabuco Hills, unnoticed, and no scouts were looking at him when he played junior college ball at Saddleback in Mission Viejo.

That sort of stuff would only motivate Fuentes.

“I was (signed by the Rockies) as an undrafted free agent in 2014,” Fuentes said. “I never really got that much playing time. I had to earn it. Every time I had an opportunity I took advantage of it. I still have that fire. Right now I’m doing what I’m doing but nobody’s talking about me, about getting called up. And, you know what? I like that because it makes me want it more and it makes me work harder.”

Fuentes’ cousins, Arenado and Arenado’s brother, Jonah, who is in the Giants organization, have been making Fuentes work harder. The three keep in touch via text and their messages involve other sports, as well as baseball and their respective performances.

They push each other. That goes back to their days in Orange County. Arenado went to nearby El Toro. They were always competitive.

“I wanted to be him all the time,” Fuentes said. “We would always get into arguments and he thought he was right and I thought I was right. I think that’s how we got better. Nolan’s brother plays for the Giants. We all sharpen each other. It’s in fun and we love each other.”

Home » Sports » Pro » Isotopes » Fuentes is making a name for himself with Isotopes

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Isotopes' losing skid reaches six games
Featured Sports
'TOPES SATURDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 ... 'TOPES SATURDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 p.m., 610 AM/95.9 FM PROBABLES: Isotopes RHP Karl Kauffmann (2-3, 7.78) vs. Bees LHP Jake Kalish (2-5, 8.36) ...
Isotopes lose in Salt Lake City; skid reaches four ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES THURSDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 ... 'TOPES THURSDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 p.m., 610 AM/95.9 FM PROBABLES: Isotopes RHP Luis Cessa (0-0, 13.50) at Bees RHP Mason Erla (0-1, 7.59) ...
The 7% solution: United to rotate pitch slightly to ...
ABQnews Seeker
United's soccer pitch at Isotopes Park ... United's soccer pitch at Isotopes Park will be reoriented slightly to address player safety issues raised by Major League Baseball and the Colorado Rockies.
An appealing experiment at weekend Isotopes games: Players get ...
ABQnews Seeker
Each team is allotted three challenges ... Each team is allotted three challenges at the start of a "challenge game" being regularly played on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays in Triple-A this ...
Four Albuquerque baseball stars reunite at Isotopes Park -- ...
ABQnews Seeker
About an hour prior to the ... About an hour prior to the Isotopes' game against Round Rock on Friday evening, a group of baseball standouts past and present — all ...
Sports Speak Up! Isotopes' 'Breaking Bad' home run celebration ...
Featured Sports
I FOR ONE (am) disgusted the ... I FOR ONE (am) disgusted the Isotopes are glorifying a Meth production celebration for home runs hit. Where's the adult here? Coach? General Manager? ...
Isotopes pay homage to 'Breaking Bad' with unique home ...
ABQnews Seeker
Nothing says home run celebration quite ... Nothing says home run celebration quite like a hazmat mask.
Photos: Isotopes play the Round Rock Express on Thursday ...
ABQnews Seeker
'Topes Today: Garver homers, but Isotopes win with six-run ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES THURSDAY: Vs. Round Rock 6:35 ... 'TOPES THURSDAY: Vs. Round Rock 6:35 p.m., Isotopes Park, 610 AM/95.9 FM PROBABLES: Express RHP James Marvel (1-1, 3.77 vs. Isotopes RHP Luis Cessa ...