This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
When Marlins rookie right-hander Eury Pérez took the mound on Wednesday night against the Mets at loanDepot park, he did so wearing specially designed cleats by senior director of international operations Adrian Lorenzo.
Lorenzo, who previously did the same for Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jesús Luzardo and prospect Nasim Nuñez, plans on moving on from the baseball industry to pursue his burgeoning art career once his contract expires at the end of the season. It’s a choice that has been percolating for a while, and one Lorenzo doesn’t take lightly. He thanked general manager Kim Ng and principal owner Bruce Sherman for being both gracious and understanding of his “off-the-wall” decision.
“It was time,” said Lorenzo, who has worked in baseball since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. “This art thing has been burning pretty hot. I constantly had to make binary decisions between one and the other. Baseball won out all the time. There was just an organic endpoint with the end of my contract that just provided like, ‘Hey, no hard feelings.’ This is just something I feel I have to do, something I’m really passionate about, and I don’t know that I’ll get a window to chase this again. So it’s really kind of as simple as that.”
Lorenzo informed the organization a couple weeks ago because he felt a responsibility to his staff and players to see things through. He wanted to give the front office adequate time to begin the process of a succession plan. Since then, Lorenzo has evaluated his staff — from cross-checkers to the leadership group — and made recommendations. He wouldn’t be surprised if there’s continuity considering the department’s progress over the last five to six years.
That started before Lorenzo held his current position, which he took on two years ago. The likes of Fernando Seguignol, Gary Denbo and Jake Jola paved the way. Not only did the caliber and volume of player go up, but the Marlins also opened a game-changing Dominican Republic academy in Boca Chica last October. Miami built a system with a template in place to continue getting results regardless of who is at the helm.
“The interpretation of the Marlins in the Latin American international space — we had one opinion before, and I think that we’re in a really competitive space now,” said Lorenzo, who has worked for the hometown team since 2018. “I think we’re really a respected operation in the industry. I think we’re as competitive as anybody, not only in terms of evaluating, but being able to execute and sign players and get the types of players that we want. I feel that we’ve really, in my opinion, taken a large leap forward in our overall international operations, especially as they relate to Latin America.”
Once Lorenzo’s contract is up, he will move full-speed ahead on this new journey. He majored in history — not art — but has doodled since he was a kid. When his grandmother became an artist in an amateur capacity post-retirement, it intrigued him. But Lorenzo didn’t start thinking of this as a viable career path until the baseball world shut down during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and he had more time to spend at home embracing his creative side.
Both of Lorenzo’s worlds came together earlier this year when Chisholm offered up a used pair of shoes to design. Then came cleats for two players whose careers he has followed since the beginning: Nuñez and Pérez. Though Lorenzo’s shoe designs are mostly what we’ve seen, his art mediums focus on canvas, murals, general design and brand collaborations. In the future, he hopes to work with furniture and sculptures.
“It’s completely in the moment,” Lorenzo said of his art, comparing it to a journal entry. “I would say the closest to accurate representation I can give [is] my art’s very journalistic. Now, it might not be interpretable by most people; honestly, it’s not clearly interpretable to me, but it’s always in the moment. There’s very little planning out.”
Lorenzo and his fiancée are in the process of finding a studio space for their design company, and two shows at world-renowned Miami Art Week are scheduled for December.
“I’m going to keep living in Miami,” Lorenzo said. “I’m going to be around. I’m going to be interested in what’s happening to the team, so I don’t envision myself being very far either way.”