Signed as an international free agent in 2010 for $500,000, Candelario really struggled in High-A Daytona last year and was demoted to Kane County. There, he had a mini resurgence that has carried on to this year in High-A again. Jeimer (pronounced JAY-mer) is hitting .276/.321/.410 for the Pelicans and is just 21 years old. He's known for his advanced approach and power.
Teddy Eley: Hey Jeimer, my first question for you is where the nickname Candyman comes from?
Jeimer Candelario: My name last name is Candelario, so my teammates thought a good nick name was candy. It was in my first year of Spring Training when I got it, when I was 18 years old in the Dominican League. They also called me Babe Ruth, but candy stuck.
TE: I’ve always been impressed with players who can switch-hit. Where’d you learn to switch-hit?
JC: When I was a kid my Dad use to teach me to hit from both sides when I was very young. I kind of liked it and enjoyed it. It gives me an advantage as I can see the ball much better. I just had to work hard on each side when I was younger and now I still do.
TE: Is there any differences between your lefty and right swings?
JC: I’m pretty even with both, yeah. You just need to put a good swing on the ball and something good is going to happen you know.
TE: You got your first two home runs of the year yesterday, that must have felt pretty good?
JC: Yeah I just hit a couple of good pitches and that’s what happened. Good things come if you work hard.
TE: Last year you seemed to be doing everything well but it just didn’t click for you, what has changed this year?
JC: You know it’s been up and down, and you just need to compete and keep working hard and trust yourself. When you trust yourself something good will happen. Over the offseason in the Dominican and in Arizona I prepared and worked hard to get ready for this season and I have played better.
TE: It’s nice to see you stuck with it and have a level head even through your struggles. Are there any big differences between Daytona and Myrtle Beach in your opinion?
JC: It’s kind of the same, same weather and all, the fans here are great, it’s pretty much the same but I like both of them. In Kane County two years ago it was very cold, but when I was there last year it was the end of summer and very warm. Hopefully, I never have to go back [down a level].
TE: You were born in New York, and moved to the Dominican as a child, so what was your childhood like?
JC: I was born in New York but grew up in the Dominican, I’d go back and forth every year. My parents still go to New York and live in the Dominican. My parents come to some of my games as well and are very supportive. I'm lucky to have such a great family support me.
TE: Wow, that’s great to hear. Thanks for taking the time to chat and good luck in today’s game.