01/02/2012 10:56 AM ET
Santana: Winning Gold Glove is a goal
Indians backstop has worked feverishly to improve his craft
This was my second season in the big leagues as a catcher. Catcher, however, is not my natural position. In fact, I've only been behind the plate for four years total now. I used to play third base, and I even used to play right field. So, going to catcher has been a big change.
Looking back, one of my former coaches, who is now with the Mets, broke the news to me several years ago that I was changing positions. I was a little apprehensive at first. That was because I had never played behind the plate before. I knew it was a hard position that required a lot of practice. At the same time, though, I was up for the challenge.
There was a lot of time that went in to learning the catching position. I watched a lot of video, and I certainly talked to a lot of people. I tried to take in everything I could. I was starting from scratch really, so at least I didn't have any bad habits to break.
Learning a new position is hard because you spend a lot of time on the new spot, but you still have to focus on your hitting. I don't want to be a guy who only hits, and I don't want to be a guy who is only a defensive catcher. I want to be a good, all-around player.
In 2010, I got my first taste of the big leagues. I was very happy. I called my mom and told her the good news. It took me back to when I was a little kid. It was my dream, and I was on my way.
I have a lot of goals for my career. As it relates to being on defense, ultimately, I want to win a Gold Glove behind the plate.
The Indians' Carlos Santana split time this year behind the plate, at first base and at DH. He clubbed a team-high 27 home runs. His .351 on-base percentage also topped all Cleveland batters in 2011.