Tag Archives: Franklin Velez

Catching up with Dustin Antolin

Catching up with Dustin Antolin

Written by Franklin Velez

Dustin Antolin has been quite the busy man this offseason. He took on playing for 3 teams over the course of a couple months, including playing in both Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Despite a tough offseason for free agents, he was able to sign with the Chicago White Sox fairly early and is excited to battle for a spot on the big-league roster.

His original worry was being unsure if he’ll get signed by an affiliated club, so the conclusion for him was to play winter ball. Luckily, he caught the eye of one organization in particular, in the Chicago White Sox.

Playing for the Independent Somerset Patriots the year prior, his expectation going in was that the league would be low in talent. To his surprise, he found the experience to be quite enjoyable and his passion for baseball was in a way “revived”.

In 2016, Dustin received a brief cup of coffee in the Majors for a single appearance with the Toronto Blue Jays. He called the outing an experience that was crazy because it was such a long road getting there. Seeing the crowd in the stands and realizing everyone had their eyes on him was incredible.

Many times Dustin felt like quitting, but his reason for being so driven and never quitting on his dream of reaching the MLB was his family. His family was his backbone to ensure he would stick with this profession rather than hanging it up.

Luckily it paid off with him receiving contracts with the Toronto Blue Jays previously and now with the Chicago White Sox. His main message now is you may as well keep throwing the ball because you never know far you can get.

Check out Tyler’s full interview with Dustin Antolin below:

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Catching up with New Britain Bees pitcher Alex Gouin

This season, Indy Ball Island again plans on working with various guest bloggers to bring you stories all around independent baseball.

For this piece, Franklin Velez and Tyler Boronski have collaborated on a piece about New Britain Bees pitcher, Alex Gouin.

Catching up with New Britain Bees pitcher Alex Gouin

Written by Franklin Velez

Alex Gouin recently signed a contract to play for the New Britain Bees in the Atlantic League, which is something of a homecoming for him. He’s currently living in Connecticut and went to college there, although he’s originally from Cuba. Gouin played in the Arizona Diamondbacks system in 2016, but he’s back to playing in the Independent Leagues for the second consecutive year. He continues to keep the faith that there is always the chance to get back into affiliated baseball.

Just signing on with an MLB club, having been born in Cuba and being an independent ball player, was a huge dream come true for Gouin and his family. He currently plans to be a reliever after having spent the season with the Somerset Patriots. An elbow injury derailed him a bit, but he’ll be back to prove his worth with his current team.

Gouin paid his respects to the Patriots team and fan base for being so loyal and loving to their players and coaches. His transition to the New Britain Bees may be a tough one, but it’s something that he believes will give him a fresh opportunity to sign on with an MLB organization.

A little fun fact about Alex is that he becomes the team barber anywhere that he has landed. He isn’t shy about giving anyone a cut, just as long as he has time to warm up for the game!

Gouin seems to be a real stand-up guy and I wish nothing but the best for him. A fresh start on a new team and an injury free season should allow him to show what he’s made of. Hopefully this will lead to another opportunity to achieve his dream of eventually reaching the MLB.

You can check out Tyler’s full interview with Gouin below:

 

Follow Tyler Boronski on YouTube (Tbautos512), Facebook (Tbautos512 Interviews), Twitter (@TyBoronski10), & Instagram (@TyBoronski10)

Follow Franklin Velez on Twitter (@CallMeStash)