KAP: The Bold Story of Gabriel Kapler

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Written by: Mike Duffy


Cover Art by Paine Proffitthttp://www.paineproffitt.com
Exclusive Interviews with
Chase De Jong, Greg Venger, John Stolnis, & Chase Kaper

Last offseason, one of the biggest surprises was the hire of Gabe Kapler to be the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a move on the bolder side, for general manager Matt Klentak, who was given the green light to make his first managerial hire. Kapler was the runner-up for the Dodger gig two seasons before in 2016, having been their Director of Player development.

Kapler has a more bold and analytical approach to the game. This, on top of a few more characteristics, made him a unique choice for a Phillies organization that is familiar to more of a traditional approach to baseball. He has had a rollercoaster first year as manager, and a very interesting journey into baseball which I was just excited to find more about.


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August 7: Nick Williams celebrates with manager Gabe Kapler after homering in the third inning. Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

So one Thursday during lunch I swung by the main office at my school (Cleveland High School) to speak to the Athletic Director, Greg Venger. He noticed that I had a Phillies shirt on and mentioned that he had gone to Taft High School with Gabe Kapler. In ‘93 while Greg was the JV shortstop his sophomore year, Kapler was the varsity shortstop. During the playoffs Greg was brought up to Varsity, allowing for some memorable moments for Greg, where he was able to watch and model after someone who was soon to become a major leaguer.


“Gabe was a great teammate great guy. Well liked by everybody very popular in high school,” said Greg. “He was a gym rat always working hard to stay in shape. His group friends were a nice good circle of friends, they are lawyers or stockbrokers, they’re all doing successful so yeah you know they all figured out their niche in life.” 


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Photo: 1993 Taft Yearbook / Gabriel Kapler (left) in his Senior year.                                    (photo found by Mike Duffy)

Greg was telling me about how “people liked to be around him,” and the positive bolt of energy people would get when he walked into a room. He also recalled some memories from their times on the field: 

“We won the game against Kennedy High School, but ended playing in the semifinals against Chatsworth and we got blown out like 17 to 1. His leadership with that group of guys pretty special group he had his senior year. Gabe was definitely the catalyst to my team. ” 

Also, we talked about how currently while managing he stresses the idea of drawing a lot of walks and telling them to take pitches. I asked Greg if Gabe took a lot of pitches, and Greg laughed and said: 

“He was an aggressive guy. He never saw more than a few pitches when he was hitting. He was always up there to hit he did not wanna walk, he had a lot of pop. Back in the day, Taft high school fence in left field was like 330ft and like 408ft to straightaway center. Now they have a different fence up there. If Gabe played there right now, he would’ve broke the state record for home run, guaranteed.”


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After graduating from Taft High School he attended a Division 1 school, Cal State Fullerton. It didn’t work out there for Gabe, so he ended up going back to Moorpark College. He got noticed there and he got drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 57th round in the 1995 Draft.

“He just peaked at the right time,” Venger said. “And that was the big thing.”


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Gabe played fifteen seasons of professional baseball and has the highest career WAR of anyone drafted in the 57th round. During the twelve seasons in the MLB, he played for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Tampa Bay Rays in. In 2004 he won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox.


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After winning the World Series with Boston, he went to Japan to play some baseball where he ruptured his Achilles. The Red Sox organization offered him his first and only managerial job before coming to the Phillies with the Sox Low-A team, the Greenville Drive.  The team had a record of 58 – 81 in his two seasons with them before returning to playing baseball for three more years.


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Gabe Kapler accepting the job with the Greenville Drive

While he was working hard on his career, he always made time for his two sons. I spoke with his son Chase Kapler. Here’s what Chase had to say about his father:

“I have to credit him for how independent and self-starting I am, from a very young age he trusted me to make my own decisions and face my own consequences for those decisions. He also never pressured me to be anybody that he wanted me to be. He was very supportive of what I wanted and what I needed.” 


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Gabe Kapler (right) with his two sons Chase (center) and Dane (left).

When officially hanging up his glove he dabbled around in different forms of media. In 2013 he was an analyst for Fox Sports 1. Then using his love for “the importance of training outdoors and clean eating. To that end, he took to sharing information in 2013 and started a health and well-being blog at Kaplifestyle.com. ” 


He used his knowledge of fitness and health to land him the job of Director of Player Development with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November of 2014. The press told two stories of how he was doing at that post, one that we see now, with all the amazing prospects that have come through that system like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Austin Barnes, and so many more. This shows that Gabe was doing something right with that system. The other narrative was one that talked about how he just came into the system and took out all the unhealthy food in all the clubhouses of the system and made them follow strict diets. We never really heard what the players thought of that, but obviously Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman liked what he was doing and made him a frontrunner for the manager position. Gabe lost it to Dave Roberts in the end.


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Gabe Kapler, seen here during spring training in 2015 with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Photo credit: Jon SooHoo | LA Dodgers

I was curious to hear what some of the players thought about Gabe when he was Director of Player development. I followed up with, Major League pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, Chase De Jong, who I originally interviewed back in 2017.

De Jong, who was originally a Dodger prospect, said he “enjoyed being under his leadership. Our minor league organization thrived under it.” 

I asked him if he mentioned any of his goals for his future in baseball, and if he was preaching about being bold in Los Angeles like he is now doing in Philadelphia:

“Yes Gabe was always clear about being bold.  We all knew that he had aspirations to be a major league manager. He’s a leader in whatever he does. He was very passionate about what he believed in he always entertained other points of view and I think that’s an incredible quality to have. Gabe I believe desires knowledge and wisdom above everything else. He’s a learner.” 


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This passion of learning and determination to be as knowledgeable about every player and the game is what caught the eye of GM Matt Klentak. Before the 2018 season, Kapler was signed to a 3 year managerial deal.


“They needed a new culture,” suggest Greg Venger on why Klentak hired Kapler. “But some of the old school Phillies fans might not like that so much. I think that his young energy and his intensity is what that organization needed. It’s maybe for some of them an acquired taste. But as a coach winning cures everything. You win everyone’s gonna love you.”  


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AP Images

For Kapler, his first week was really rough. He pulled Aaron Nola early on Opening Day, and then the bullpen blew the game that was filled with miscommunications. He was also greeted with boos at the home opener. During all of this, Kapler stayed positive and said they would definitely go to the playoffs.  Most people thought he was on something but Greg Venger suggested that “there is a little bit of arrogance about him, because he is confident. So the players, they like the confidence, they relate to that because that’s how the players are too.”


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Sept. 25: The skipper! Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

I reached out to Writer & Podcaster for SB Nation’s The Good Phight, John Stolnis, where he focuses on covering the current Phillies. He falls in the middle on the Kapler spectrum like most other writers but I challenged him to put away the criticism and just focus on the positives of his rookie season. 

“I think my favorite thing about Kapler this year was how he was at least willing to try things that were different. I didn’t agree with all of what he did, and late in the season I thought he tried to do too much. But I liked that he wasn’t afraid, and I think he has shown a willingness to take criticism and to learn,” Stolnis said.

Greg Venger agreed with Stolnis and had this to say about Gabe’s first year of managing:

“I’m sure he would be the first to tell you the game part he’s still learning it. The game is different from it used to be. And it’s evolved. So when he came up as a player it was more of a small ball steal bases and now it’s more of strikeouts and guys hitting home runs.”  – Greg Venger


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April 5: The Phillies line the base path for pre-game festivities at the Phillies Home Opener. Philadelphia Phillies

After that first rough week, the Phillies turned it all around. They were in first place for over a month. At one point they even were 63- 48! It looked like Kapler would win Manager of the Year. The Phillies were in first place, had a really good division lead, and the Nationals were falling off a cliff.  Gabe’s son, Chase said his favorite moments of this successful part of the season were “either the Maikel Franco walk off or Nola out-dueling Scherzer twice.”


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July 31: Maikel Franco returns to the dugout after scoring in the fourth inning. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

But then the bad skid happened, the really bad skid. The Phillies went 8-20 for the rest of the season in September and they were not able to get that postseason chance they were hoping for.  The pitching staff looked tired and bats were not coming alive.


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August 19: The Phillies line up for the national anthem before the MLB Little League Classic game. Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos

Although the Phillies finished 2 wins below .500, they showed improvement from the year before. The ride has just begun for Gabe Kapler and he is ready to get back out there next season with something to prove to the city of brotherly love. Gabe wants to make sure he can be the manager of the next Phillies World Series team rather than finding himself on the hot seat.


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Thank you Paine Proffitt, Chase De Jong, Greg Venger, John Stolnis, & Chase Kapler, and everyone else who helped out on this article.


Additional Sources:

https://www.phillymag.com/news/2018/03/24/gabe-kapler-phillies-manager/

https://theathletic.com/141869/2017/10/30/phillies-bold-pick-of-gabe-kapler-as-manager-shows-clubs-focus-on-analytics/

https://www.phillyvoice.com/who-gabe-kapler-dozen-fun-facts-about-new-phillies-manager/

http://www2.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/gabe-kapler-phillies-moorpark-college-cal-state-fullerton-detroit-tigers-fitness-journey-20180525.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabe_Kapler


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2018 Photo Review #3 – What an awesome display of sportsmanship! Both the Phillies and Mets lined up for handshakes after the 2018 MLB Little League Classic. Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos.            “If you get those guys to believe that they can do it. Then they can do it, and they’re young and they’re talented and they’re going to go through their ups and downs during a 162 games and you’re going to have your slumps you’re going to go through your hot streak. Everything is fantastic at that time. But when things aren’t going well. It’s about how  you respond to that.”           – Greg Venger

 

Ross Stripling Interview: Being A Part of a Special Team

The K Zone

April 14th 2018

Ross Stripling

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Ross Stripling is a part of one of the most historic franchises, the Dodgers. When Stripling made a move to the bullpen, his versatility made him a cornerstone of the Dodgers who would go to the World Series in 2017. This year the Dodgers look to win it all, and with their young talent, they will be a dominant team for years to come.


Mike Duffy: You made a big step last year when you became more versatile, moving to the bullpen to adapt to the Dodgers’ depth. Was it a tough process or were you surprised at how well it worked out?

Ross Stripling: I struggled when I first went to the bullpen. I had a hard time finding a routine that kept me fresh both mentally and physically. I didn’t know when to lift, how hard to condition, how much preparation and scouting I needed to do. Once I found a consistent routine, which wasn’t until a few months into the season, I was able to relax and really enjoy the bullpen role. It’s always different and way more intense so it’s a lot of fun.


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Mike Duffy: There is no doubt that the Dodgers have all the pieces to bring home a ring to Los Angeles. What has it been like to be one of those pieces along with other young guys like Corey, Cody, and Chris, and the wise mentors like Kershaw and Chase?

Ross Stripling: I’ve been totally spoiled so far in my big league career. A lot of wins and 2 deep playoff runs. It’s pretty special to be apart of a team like this, to think one day I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I played with Kersh, Seager, Bellinger, Kenley, etc. At first I just felt like such a small piece, but as you get more experience and more comfortable, you start to feel like you belong around guys like that. Especially since they’re all such great guys and teammates, friends I’ll have for life.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite baseball memory?

Ross Stripling: I have a few favorite baseball memories. I would say the no hitter I threw in college the day I was supposed to walk across the stage to graduate, with all my family in town, is maybe my favorite. My debut was obviously another one that I’ll remember forever.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite player and role model growing up?

Ross Stripling: My favorite player growing up was probably Ken Griffey Jr. I was also a huge A-Rod fan when he was on the Rangers. A baseball role model was always Cal Ripken Jr., he was my older brothers favorite player and just a guy that played the game the right way.


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Mike Duffy: In what ways has playing in a World Series changed your life?

Ross Stripling: For one, I think the World Series kinda puts your baseball career into perspective. Nothing else will ever be as high pressured or as intense as those games. I pitched in those games and survived so I should be able to handle anything moving forward in my career. Also I was able to pitch in Houston in front of dozens of friends and family, something we’ll be able to remember and talk about for the rest of our lives which is pretty special.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite movie?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Movie is Good Will Hunting.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite TV show?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Tv show is Entourage.


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Mike Duffy: Who’s your favorite musician?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Musician is Garth Brooks.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Ross Stripling: My favorite hobby is trading on the stock market.


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Mike Duffy: Bucket-list item?

Ross Stripling: A Bucket list item would be to take a vacation with my wife/family every year.


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Mike Duffy: Do you have any advice for young kids playing the game?

Ross Stripling: I would just tell kids to play the game hard and have fun. It’s taken so serious these days with travel ball and baseball year round. Play the game with passion  and get better every time you take the field, and let the rest take care of itself. Everyone matures at different rates and ages, so just control what you can control and play the game because you love it.


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Tim Locastro; The Dodgers Speedster

-The K Zone-

October 4th  2017

Tim Locastro

Interview by Mike Duffy


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Mike Duffy: How’s the Dodgers clubhouse chemistry?

Tim Locastro: I mean I’ve only been here a few days but, I think the cool thing about the clubhouse is everyone has the same thing and same intentions on their mind and that’s to win whatever it takes.


Mike Duffy: What did it feel like when you were called up?

Tim Locastro: I was completely shocked, I didn’t have any idea what it was going to happen but at the same time I was excited for the opportunity.


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Mike Duffy: How did you use your speed to show the dodgers organization your value?

Tim Locastro: I’ve been stealing bases and using my speed my whole life. I showed it by when ever I was on base I was trying to steal. Always running out ground balls to get those infield hits and always trying to take the extra base.


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

Tim Locastro: The biggest difference at each level isn’t so much the talent because every level you play at the talent is amazing. As you go up the ladder players start to learn how to use their talent. Also mentally the higher you go players are so much smarter and just know the game like the back of their hand.


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

Tim Locastro: Knowing that every year you have a chance to win and your going to be put in a position to win every single year.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Tim Locastro: Being from NY, Growing up I was a big Yankees fan.


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Mike Duffy: What are your favorite tv shows?


Tim Locastro: Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and 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?

Tim Locastro: “Everything happens for a reason” and in baseball I think a good saying is “only control what you can control” because there is so many factors in baseball that you cannot control so just go out there and compete.


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

Tim Locastro: Ever since I received my first baseball bat and glove.


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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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Tyler Watson; How I Met My New Team

The K Zone

August 31st 2017

Tyler Watson

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 


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

Tyler Watson: The biggest obstacle even moving one level to the next is to understand that you got there for a reason and changing anything will not help. Be yourself.


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

Tyler Watson: I’ve met a lot of great teammates so far being a Twin.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Tyler Watson: I love to read, I guess the best thing I can do while playing baseball is try to educate myself anyway I can.


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

Tyler Watson: I will always be a Big Papi fan.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Tyler Watson: My dad is from Boston so I grew up a Red Sox fan.


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Mike Duffy: Goals for this season?

Tyler Watson: This season I just want to learn from my mistakes and my successes. Never forget what got you there and never forget what didn’t work.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Tyler Watson: My favorite stadium is probably Chase field because I grew up there!


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite tv show? 

Tyler Watson: My favorite movie is it’s a wonderful life! My favorite show is how I met your mother! 


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

Tyler Watson: Lord we know what we are but know not what we may be.


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

Tyler Watson: I’ve always wanted to be a professional baseball player from day one.


Mike Duffy: What do you enjoy most about staying with host families during the season?

Tyler Watson: Staying with host families have given me connections and experiences that I’m extremely thankful for.  


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Mike Duffy: For a shout out to your old teammates lol! What do you miss most about your time in the nationals organization?

Tyler Watson: Wow haha I think about my boys all the time. Still hasn’t sunk in that I won’t see them very often anymore but I’m so thankful that my best friend Blake Perkins lives in Arizona so I can still see him!


 

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

Tyler Watson: I love being a pitcher because it’s so strategic, hardest thing about pitching and almost anything is not letting your head get in the way even though it’s a mental craft. I started getting good my senior year of high school once I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was!


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Alex Robles; Beginning his journey with the Twins

The K Zone

July 19th 2017

Alex Robles

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?

Alex Robles: The hardest thing was each level, I came across more and more players with the same abilities as me, and I had to learn to out work them and work on the mental side of the game just as much as the physical side. The people that separate themselves from the pack are the ones who recognize that talent alone isn’t going to be what gets you to the next level, but dedication, hard work, and being mentally strong will.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about being a Twin?

Alex Robles: My favorite part about being a twin is really having a chance to work through the the farm systems and make it up with the team that drafted me.


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

Alex Robles: I love to just hang out with my friends in my off time, baseball takes up a lot of my time, but I love to go to the beach and relax with my small circle of friends


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

Alex Robles: My favorite player growing up was Alex Rodriguez, I loved the way he played and he was the biggest star that I could remember.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Alex Robles: The Yankees were my favorite team growing up.


Mike Duffy: Goals for this season?

Alex Robles: My goals for this season is just to get better in every aspect of my game, and just work hard every single day and really dedicate myself to this game as much as I can.


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Mike Duffy: How did draft day feel?

Alex Robles: Draft day was amazing, my parents, my wife and her mom, and my friends were all just so happy that God gave me an opportunity to keep following my dream!


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite stadium?

Alex Robles: Chase Field is probably my favorite stadium.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite tv show?

Alex Robles: I Love “How I met your Mother”


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

Alex Robles: A motto that I have is just to “Seize the Day” I don’t let things ever be too big, and I always try and find a way to fix something if something is wrong, or if everything is going good, I find a way to get better, either as a baseball player, or as a Person.


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

Alex Robles: I knew I wanted to be a professional the moment I watched the 2001 World Series, the excitement that I saw when the the D backs won, I got chills, and I just knew I wanted to be part of something like that when I got older.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about playing infield? 

Alex Robles: I’m playing some Infield and Outfield and hitting, I love to play every day, it’s hard to stay at 100% every day, but being able to help the team every day on the field and hitting is awesome.


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Player Q&A’s


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Scott Braun – MLB Broadcaster


Yankees


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Estevan Florial


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Devyn Bolasky


Dodgers


548389.jpgRoss Stripling 


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Tim Loncastro


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Mitchell Hansen 


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Gavin Lux


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Hunter Speer


Nationals


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Jackson Rutledge


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Jared Johnson


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Philip Caulfield


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Andruw Monasterio


Phillies


 

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Rhys Hoskins


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Zach Eflin


 


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Scott Kingery


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Kevin Gowdy


 

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Grant Dyer


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Trevor Bettencourt


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Luke Leftwich


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Kyle Young


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Darick Hall


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Dominic Pipkin


Angels


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Jahmai Jones


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Ryan Scott


Astros


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Ray Henderson


Athletics


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Austin Beck  (Round 1-Pick 6)


Blue Jays


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David Paulino


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Andrew Sopko


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Corey Copping 


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Brandon Polizzi


Indians


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Nolan Jones


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Will Benson


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Lenny Torres Jr.


Brewers


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Corbin Burnes


Mariners


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Brandon Brennan


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Eric Filia


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Logan Gilbert 


 

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Sam Carlson (Round 2-Pick 55)


Marlins


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James Nelson


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Shane Sawczak


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Trevor Rodgers (Round 1-Pick 13)


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Sean Reynolds


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Brandon Miller


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Tristan Pompey


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Billy Fleming 


Orioles


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Tyler Erwin


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Franciso Jimenez


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Yelin Rodriquez


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Zach Pop 


Padres


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Jacob Nix


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Dylan Coleman


Rangers


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Jonathan Hernandez 


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Kole Enright


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Brendon Davis


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Joe Palumbo


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Chad Smith


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Bubba Thompson (Round 1-Pick 26) 


Twins


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Ian Miller 


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Chase Dejong


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Tyler Watson


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Alex Robles 


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Benjamin Rodriguez 


Diamondbacks


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Jon Duplantier


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Ryan Dobson 


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Dan Swain 


Rays


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Robbie Tenerowicz


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Drew Strotman


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Mikey York


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Nick Schnell


Cardinals


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Johan Oviedo


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Ryan Helsley


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Jim Haley


Braves


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Grant Dayton


Royals


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Trevor Oaks


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Tyler Zuber


Mets


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Pat Biondi


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Gavin Garay


Giants


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Kevin Pillar


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Sean Hjelle


White Sox


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Ryan Burr


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Caleb Frare


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Luis Curbelo Jr. 


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Steele Walker


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Casey Schroeder


Retired/Released


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Ty Kelly


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Cord Sandberg


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Ryan Miller


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Joel Toribio


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Tyler Adkison


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Pat Light


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Imani Abdullah


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Sam Tidaback


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Luke Persico


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Chris Powell


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Luis Perez 


 Under Construction….

Reds

Rockies

Cubs

Pirates

Red Sox

Tigers

 

 

 

Rhys Hoskins Interview: On the Road to Citizens Bank

-The K Zone-

January 12th  2017

Revised August 10th 2017

Rhys Hoskins

Interview by Mike Duffy


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I was able to interview Phillies #6 in their top prospect list (according to MLB Pipeline) Rhys Hoskins in January. This past offseason he was invited to Phillies 2017 spring training! This is huge because he is the only 1st baseman in the top 30 of the Phillies prospects and if you haven’t heard, the Phillies need a counter part to Tommy Joseph now that Ryan Howard isn’t coming back and that the Phillies just traded Darin Ruf to the Dodgers in a packaged deal for Howie Kendrick. You heard it here first! This year in AA he had a .281 BA and scored 95 times with 38 of them being home runs!

*He has officially been Promoted to the Show on August 10th 2017.


His Debut on August 10th he faced Jacob deGrom. Rhys went 0-2  and was walked. 


 On August 26th 2017 he became the fastest person EVER to get 10 HOMERUNS! He did it in 17 career games! Hoskins hit his 9th and 10th on players weekends and while hitting those, he wore a patch to honor his mom who battled breast cancer and sadly she passed away within a day of his 16th Birthday! 

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

Rhys Hoskins: Biggest challenge really is that along with the competition just getting better and better, you play a lot more games at each level! You just have to figure out how to maintain and strengthen your body so you feel good when it gets to late in the season. That has been the hardest thing so far for me, figuring out what works for me so I feel my best at the end of the season.


Mike Duffy: How did you feel when you got drafted?

Rhys Hoskins: It was a dream come true. I had worked countless hours to reach that goal and it happened!


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Mike Duffy: What did you do best last season?

Rhys Hoskins: I felt like I really honed my approach this season with men in scoring position, and I knocked in a lot of runs because of it.


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Mike Duffy: This offseason whats the major thing you are planning to work on?

Rhys Hoskins: This offseason I’m really focusing on getting my foundation back for my strength. I have played the last couple offseason and haven’t really had the chance to focus on the gym.


Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite thing about being an Philly?

Rhys Hoskins: The coaching staff and friends I’ve made on the teams I’ve been on are an awesome part about being a Philly.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Rhys Hoskins: I love traveling and see different cultures and exploring new cities.


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

Rhys Hoskins: I grew up watching Barry Bonds play and I still to this day think he is arguably the best hitter To ever play this game.


Mike Duffy: Who’s the hardest pitcher you faced this season?

Rhys Hoskins: The best pitcher i faced this year was German Marquez, in the Rockies organization. Guy threw 100 mph, kept the ball down in the strike zone, and had a good breaking ball on top of it!


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite stadium?

Rhys Hoskins: Favorite stadium I’ve played in is Citizens Bank Park!


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite movie/tv show?

Rhys Hoskins: Favorite Movie: Wedding Crashers, show: Suits


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

Rhys Hoskins: Just keep livin’


For more Interviews Click Here

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Thanks for reading!