When it comes to big league dreams, Joey Cantillo is on the path to making them a reality.
We sat down with the Columbus Clippers pitcher to learn about his journey in baseball, and how the Hawaii-native has adjusted to life in CBUS this season.
Can you tell us about your professional baseball journey?
Growing up in Hawaii is unique. There aren’t a lot of professional baseball players from there, so getting scouted and seen is a little harder. You have to pay to play in some showcases and travel to the mainland to get seen.
I was able to get drafted by San Diego in the 16th round, so I wasn’t a very big prospect coming out of high school. I worked my way up the system, focused on pitching, and made my priority putting up good numbers to make a name for myself.
When I got traded here, it was a lot of developing, focusing on velocity and process-based things. This has led me to where I am today.
How has your first season in Columbus been?
It’s been a lot of fun. I think it’s been a great learning adjustment and going through trial and error. Triple-A is a different vibe than some of the lower levels. You’re playing with a lot of players who are at different stages in their career.
Columbus is a vibrant, fun city with a lot of younger people and things to do. There are some nice lakes around here and we’ve been going wake surfing, so I’ve really enjoyed that. This is by far the best city I’ve played in.
What was it like playing in the All-Star Futures Game?
That was one of the coolest baseball experiences that I’ve had. I had to opportunity to play in a big league stadium, and my sister and my dad were there to watch me. It was a really classy event and it’s something looking back years from now that will always be something I’ll remember. Being there with other guys in this early stage of our career, when we all plan to do special things in baseball over the next few years, it was really cool.
What are your favorite local restaurants?
What advice do you have for young players?
Continue to work hard with everything you do. Believing in yourself is the most important thing. A lot of people will tell you things in baseball and in life, but it doesn’t really matter what other people are saying. You have to believe in what you believe in and in yourself.