Jon Duplantier; Fishing & Pitching

 

-The K Zone-

September 29th  2017

Jon Duplantier

Interview by Mike Duffy



Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Jon Duplantier: The biggest challenge is being on your own. You have to grow up a lot and be a grown man when maybe some guys aren’t ready for the responsibility.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about being apart of the Diamondbacks?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite part about being with the dbacks is I get to play the game I love for and organization that is respectful and supportive.


 


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Jon Duplantier: I like to fish on my off days. Just relax and let my mind wander.



Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite player growing up was Roger Clemens.



Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite team was the Astros or Rangers. Anyone in Texas.



Mike Duffy: What was your favorite memory of this season?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite memory this season was being in the Futures Game.



Mike Duffy: What was it like knowing you were recognized for your great year on the MLB Pipeline team of the year?

Jon Duplantier: Being recognized for the team was awesome, because it brings attention to the dbacks farm system and all the work we’ve put in.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite stadium?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite stadium is Minute Maid.



Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite movie?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite movie is Space Jam.



Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Jon Duplantier: Just think about positive energy and count my blessings.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Jon Duplantier: My mom said I first told her when I was young like 6 or 7.



Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a pitcher? Hardest thing about pitching? When did you start getting good at it?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite thing, is the one on one battle, the hardest thing, getting out of a bad streak, when I turned 20 I guess.


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Ty Kelly; Utilizing his role on the Phillies

The K Zone

July 12th 2017

Ty Kelly

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 

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Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Ty Kelly: The biggest challenge at each stage is dealing with the new surroundings. You want to fit in and help the team at first and then work up to standing out and being a key player on the team.


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Mike Duffy: What have you done best this season?

Ty Kelly: My best moment this season was getting a go-ahead pinch hit double against Chris Sale.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a Philly?

Ty Kelly: My favorite thing about Philly is all the history here and getting to explore the museums.


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Mike Duffy: Do you miss anything from the mets?

Ty Kelly: I miss the guys with the team and the city itself. It’s an amazing place to play every day.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Ty Kelly: I have a lot of hobbies. I enjoy making music, writing, and outdoor activities during the offseason in San Diego.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Ty Kelly: My favorite player growing up was Chipper Jones. He was a switch-hitting infielder like me.


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Mike Duffy: Who has been the hardest pitcher you have faced?

Ty Kelly: The toughest pitcher I’ve ever faced was probably Yordano Ventura in the minor leagues.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Ty Kelly: My favorite stadium to play in is AT&T Park in San Francisco. I grew up close to it and it is beautiful.


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Mike Duffy: What are your favorite movies and tv shows?

Ty Kelly: My favorite movie is “Inglourious Basterds” and favorite show is “Seinfeld.”


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Ty Kelly: If I’m struggling I try to step back and look at the bigger picture.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Ty Kelly: I didn’t know how good I was at baseball until my sophomore year of college when I transferred to UC Davis and had a lot of success.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite thing about being a utility guy?

Ty Kelly: My favorite thing about being a utility guy being used in a bunch of different facets. It never gets boring!


Mike Duffy: Whats the hardest thing about being a utility guy?

Ty Kelly: The hardest thing is not knowing when or where you’ll go into the game every day.


Mike Duffy: What are your hopes for the Phillies?

Ty Kelly: My hopes for the Phillies are that I get to stick around and help out a team of young guys as they grow into successful big leaguers.


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Eric Filia; From pick 597 to North West league MVP

-The K Zone-

November 4th 2016

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Eric Filia aka the Collage Champ winner in 2013 with UCLA had some troubles in collage which ultimately got him kicked out of UCLA, but as we know seconded chances turn out could make the difference of making the Majors or not. Eric took that second chance his coach at UCLA gave him and blew everyone away. His seconded chance also blew away the scouts and he got drafted. He made his opportunity mean something like many of the Major Leaguers who get second chances after a PED or awful Major League performances. Heres this years recap with Eric Filia.

 

From being draft pick 597 this year to North West league MVP what does that mean to you? 

Eric Filia: Well being MVP is always a great thing but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, coaching staff, nor the community of Everett of making me so comfortable playing the game I love, I would trade my MVP to have a ring any day of the week but the team as a whole and myself it was a big learning step and can’t wait to get back out there and compete.

When you started playing in the minors how hard was the transition for you from college ball? Was Short-Season Class A harder or easier then when playing at UCLA? 

Eric Filia: The transition was hard at first but it was my teammates and coach staff that believed in me and had trust in me and my capabilities, that I brought to the team and just gave myself more confidence as the season went long. I wouldn’t say it was easier then Ucla cause if you’re playing in the PAC-12 you earned the right to play there and playing in the pros it’s the same thing. You earned the right to be blessed to have the opportunity to play professionally

Besides your hard work who do you dedicate your success to? Why? 

Eric Filia: I dedicate my success to my brothers, I’m trying to be a big influence and role model to them to see that it is possible to put your mind and hard work to something you love and achieve and as long as we all just go out there, have fun, stay within ourselves, and don’t take this game for granted the possibilities are endless.

This season you were able to get a glimpse of AAA… What was it like? Did it feel different then anything you’ve done before? 

Eric Filia: I have to say AAA was a great treat and great experience, I learned a lot from the guys up there and how they handled themselves. But again it’s the same game and as long as you compete I believe I felt like I belonged.

What’s your favorite memory of 2016? 

Eric Filia: My favorite memory of 2016 was the relationships I built with my teammates and how even though off the field we were all great friends, on the field we did our job and competed each and every day. That’s what makes it fun for me is my friends and teammates coming to the field every day and competing to win a ball game.

Favorite pitcher to face? 

Eric Filia: My favorite pitcher to face had to be, 2 guys come in mind, Pat Murphy who played for Vancouver, he had great stuff and threw all his pitches for strikes and competed every time he went out there. Secondly, Dylan cease who pitched for the Eugene emeralds, cubs #6 prospect who has probably the best stuff, great fastball, 97-101 and curveball plus a change up, we competed against each other and we both got each other. Very great competitor and bright future for him.

Best Stadium? 

Eric Filia: Best stadium had to be Vancouver, had about 6 to 7000 people in the stands, hecklers and all but that makes the game fun. When you can compete on the field but also the fans who go against you and prove them wrong but it’s all in fun and I love fans and love to interact with them.

What did you think of the World Series? 

Eric Filia: The World Series is a prime example of never giving up and trusting one another and their roles that they bring to the team to help win. Game 7 really showed that everyone gave their all on the field and left their heart out. I love this game and seeing grown men have the same passion I do is very fulfilling and I really hope one day I can have that experience and succeed just like the Indians and cubs did. Very fun and humbled to watch. 

MD: Thank you so much and I really appreciate you doing this! I’m glad I got you before  you become a huge star! Thanks!

Eric Filia:  Hahah I hope that’s good and not too long man. Thanks for doing this. Great  man! Hope you have a good night!

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Trevor Oaks- Blessed with Success

-The K Zone-

November 3rd 2016

Updated on July 13th 2017

Trevor Oaks

Interviewed by Mike Duffy

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In 2016 Trevor Oaks had arguably his best season, where he never pitched less than five innings in a game, he had three 8 inning games, one complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts and 3-Hits. He is also ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 dodger prospects this year! His talent and respect are something to lookout for in the years to come! Hope you enjoy my interview with Dodger Prospect Trevor Oaks.


Mike Duffy: Going 14-3 this year what worked so well with your delivery of your pitches?

Trevor Oaks: A lot of my success this year had to do with sticking to what I do well. A lot of baseball trends are starting to go towards high velocity and nasty strikeout stuff. While that’s definitely valuable and helpful, (stuff that I want too) I just tried to go out there and get quick ground balls using my sinker/cutter combo. If I can get my team in a position to win after 6 innings, I’ve done my job. But my separator is how efficient I can be and how many innings can I accumulate in the season



Mike Duffy: As a pitcher in a dominant rookie pitcher organization how hard is it to fight for an everyday spot to start?

Trevor Oaks: It’s definitely challenging to not think about at times- Looking back at this past season, I was just trying to focus on each start, each pitch at a time. I can’t worry about what other guys are doing. I’m gonna go out there and compete and do my best. Obviously I’d love to play for the Dodgers and contribute to their success someday, but I also understand there’s 29 other teams that may need a starter that can go 6-7 innings. I’m that guy and I want to do that for a club next season



Mike Duffy: What is your number one goal your going to focus on in the offseason?

Trevor Oaks: This offseason I’m primarily focusing on improving my stuff. I want a better, more consistent change up. I’m also thinking about adding a splitter so I can try to get that strikeout pitch. But ultimately I want to fine tune my command. I can throw a lot of strikes and I keep it down for the most part. But I really want to put the ball where I want and consistently keep the ball at the shins or below.



Mike Duffy: Besides baseball what’s your favorite hobby?

Trevor Oaks: I love messing around on the piano and I love spending time with people I care about. I’ve been volunteering at CBU (California Baptist University)  as a pitching coach, so it’s awesome to have the opportunity to invest into younger guys and help them develop and improve in order to fulfill their dreams. It’s still baseball, but I look at it as using what I can to help other people. That’s my hobby!


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Mike Duffy: Besides your hard work who else do you dedicate your success to?

Trevor Oaks: God deserves all the credit. My career and success all go to him and he directs my path. He has put a lot of great mentors in my life to guide me and help me along the way. From a mental standpoint, my college coach, Gary Adcock, instilled a lot of good mindsets and philosophies that I have changed my whole career. My grandpa, Ade Moss, is also another mentor that continually helps me in all aspects of my life. And of course my parents. They have always done their best and supported me!



Mike Duffy: Which batter has been the biggest challenge for you?

Trevor Oaks: Danny Volgebach had my number pretty good. But you could say that for just about everyone on our pitching staff. That guy absolutely rakes. I had a tough time with the rangers affiliates. They seem to like big lefties, and if my changeup isn’t on that day, I have a tough time throwing to Joey Gallo and guys like that



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Mike Duffy: Is there anyone in the Majors right now who comes to mind when you think of being supportive of you?

Trevor Oaks: I haven’t gotten a ton of opportunities to talk to a lot of big league guys. But Brock Stewart has been a good friend since we got drafted together in 14. Ross Stripling is another great friend and teammate. He’s helped me out a lot and accepted me when I was adjusting to the new environment. Howie Kendrick talked to me when he was rehabbing in Rancho. Super nice guy and had a lot of good baseball knowledge. You definitely try to pick at their brains and try to soak up anything you can.


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Mike Duffy: Who is the biggest leader on your team?

Trevor Oaks: Biggest Leader for me was Charlie Culberson. He had an interesting leadership style. He isn’t afraid of talking and saying what he thinks. But he normally chose to lead by example. He just plays the game the way it should be played. Very professional and personable guy. He was kind and accepting of everyone, and genuinely cared for his teammates. Can’t say good enough things about the guy!


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Mike Duffy: What changed in Puig’s attitude when you were down in OKC that made him perform better?

Trevor Oaks: I was very observant of Puig. The media always portrays people and puts different spins on situations. I wanted to see what he was really like. I found Puig to be a very passionate player and enjoyable to be around. There were some ways where he was still maturing and adjusting to American Baseball, but I thought he handled that situation very well. He worked hard, went in the cage early before most of the guys got to the field, and hit a ton of balls in the cage. He worked hard and I was very impressed by the way he handled the situation. The fans were brutal to him, and maybe some of that he brought on himself. But you gotta give the guy some credit for manning up and making the changes he needed to.


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Mike Duffy: Do you consider yourself a leader on and off the field?

Trevor Oaks: I want to be a leader and I think I have the capacity to do that. But I think at this point in my career, I’m in a position of learning and following the examples of other guys who have been playing for a while. My role is to be a sponge and soak up as much as I can while I’m here and have great teammates to learn from.


Mike Duffy: What is your number one goal for the team in the second half of the season?

Trevor Oaks: I think our primary goal is to contribute to the big league team and help them win a World Series. Our secondary goal is to get in the playoffs and win a PCL championship.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite player?

Trevor Oaks: I didn’t really have a favorite player growing up. I always liked watching Kershaw when he was just coming on to the scene.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite baseball memory?  

Trevor Oaks: My favorite baseball memory would be winning the Cal League championship, or this year when I hit a home run and threw 7 innings against the Baby Cakes.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Trevor Oaks: My favorite Stadium I’ve played in the Minors would be either the Dayton Dragons or in Tulsa. Good atmosphere, great playing surface!


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Mike Duffy: Growing up what team was your favorite?

Trevor Oaks: My favorite team was a toss up between the Angels and the Dodgers. I would always watch Angel games because the stadium was closer to my house. But I started liking the Dodgers when I was 12 and it was a dream come true to be drafted by them.


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Mike Duffy: What are your favorite movies and tv shows?

Trevor Oaks: My favorite movie is tough! I’d say Gladiator or Braveheart. Favorite TV show is between Game of Thrones and The Office.


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Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to be a professional ball

player?

Trevor Oaks: When I was playing ball at Biola University, I was starting to get some interest from scouts. I wouldn’t allow myself to seriously consider it until I knew there was a chance.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite part of the Dodgers organization?

Trevor Oaks: My favorite part of the Dodgers organization is their coaching staff. They have done such a good job of placing good people in coaching positions. It’s been a blessing to get to know all the staff, top to bottom. It really shows that they care about developing good players and people!


 

For more Interviews Click Here

For more updates on articles follow us on Instagram @thekzonenews

Comment below on how we can improve the articles!

Thanks for reading!

 


Outtakes…


Mike Duffy What did you think about the World Series game?

Trevor Oaks: One of the best World Series I’ve seen! Congrats to the Cubs organization! Lots of hard work goes into that. It’s a long season and I tip my cap to those guys. Hopefully the Dodgers can do that next season!


Mike Duffy: Thank you for doing this!  Maybe some day I’ll interview you in person when your pitching for the Dodgers on the big stage! Thanks again and have a great night!

Trevor Oaks: Yeah no problem! Glad I could help! Good luck




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Sliding into the Dm with Grant Dayton

-The K Zone-

November 2nd 2016

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As the seasons change and baseball season ends it’s time to look back and see what each team has in place for next year. One team that is especially set for next year is the Dodgers. This year the Dodgers had a record breaking amount of injuries which made them rely on numerous rookies like Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, Rob Segedin, Brock Stewart, and Grant Dayton. Today I was fortunate enough to interview Grant Dayton who was a key part of the Dodgers making the postseason. Since his Major League debut on July 22 he has struck out 39 batters with an ERA of 2. I hope everyone can get inspired by his message so pull up a chair and get ready for the K zones interview with Grant Dayton.    

Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you transition from high school, college, minor leagues, to the majors, what is the biggest challenge you face when you reach each stage?

Grant Dayton: I’ve never really thought each level had its own particular challenges. Every time I moved up, I realized real quick that the game is the same. Margin for error is definitely smaller, and there’s more people around every time I moved up, but the game is exactly the same.

MD: How long does it take you to level down and feel at ease and confident in yourself that you can handle the new changes?

Grant Dayton: I think the realization of that during my career made the translation to the majors easier. Some people have trouble blocking out all of the extra ‘noise’ that comes along with moving up, but I think it’s important to learn that You have to trust that the work you put in, real work, will show up during the games. Never go through the motions. Always motivate yourself to work. The most talented usually get weeded out because they didn’t learn how to work. Real talent is rare, and those who have it usually don’t learn to work. Don’t underestimate what hard work will do for you.

“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”– Derek Jeter

MD: Thanks! That’s really interesting! I was really curious about how it felt and I really appreciate you getting back to me! I can’t wait to see you succeed again next year, best of luck!

Grant Dayton: No problem. Thanks!

Check out my Interview with Zach Eflin and my article on Rookie Salaries! Also read Ian’s article on WAR.

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