San Antonio – Former St. Mary’s University baseball player Jonathan Cisneros wasn’t sure what to think about sharing a locker room with Jose Canseco when the oversized baseball personality drew national headlines for signing with the independent-league Laredo Broncos earlier this summer.

As time went on, though, Cisneros’ stance on Canseco softened.

“He gave me a 35-inch bat,” said a chuckling Cisneros, a first baseman/third baseman for the Broncos. “It was too big for me, but I ended up going 3 for 4 with it one night.”

Truth is Cisneros probably could have done that with any bat.

Cisneros, a San Antonio native who played his final season at St. Mary’s last spring, has been named United League Baseball’s Co-Rookie of the Year after leading the league in hitting with a .383 average.

The South San High School graduate added four home runs, 37 RBIs and 45 runs in his first season with Laredo.

To say Cisneros was caught by surprise with the award would be an understatement. He wasn’t even aware the league doled out such honors until the team’s broadcaster told him during a bus ride late in the season that he might be in the running.

“From then on I was checking my stats,” joked Cisneros, who spent 11 games as Canseco’s teammate after the retired star slugger joined the Broncos as a designated hitter and bench coach in August.

As a senior at St. Mary’s, Cisneros – an exercise and sports science major who plans to continue his education at St. Mary’s at a later time – batted .296 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs last season.

Over four seasons with the Rattlers, he totaled 30 home runs, 204 RBIs and 179 runs scored. He earned all-conference honors as a sophomore.

“It’s great he’s able to get it,” St. Mary’s athletics director and baseball coach Charlie Migl said of Cisneros winning the award. “I’m really happy for him. It sets up a good future. Maybe he will get a chance to go play in the Mexico leagues. Hopefully, that happens for him.”

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