MLB player Antoine Duplantis chatted with Markos Papadatos about his plans for 2020, New York Mets, his love for baseball, influences and he furnished his definition of success.
This past June, he was chosen in the 12th round (pick No. 358) by the New York Mets. A Louisiana native, Duplantis is Louisiana State University’s all-time leader in hits (with 359 hits as the LSU record), games played (267 games), at-bats (1,098) and triples (16).
On his plans for 2020, he revealed, “I am playing for the New York Mets so I will be headed out to spring training in a little less than a month. Then, I will go wherever they want me to.”
“I want to constantly get better in every aspect of baseball and life, as an athlete and as a person. It’s a work in progress,” he said.
When asked if there were any moments in his athletic career that helped define him, he said, “In high school, I was a late bloomer. It took me a while to get to LSU and to get recruited. I had to keep working and I finally got my chance a little bit later than most people. That helped mold me into who I am today.”
For young and aspiring baseball players, he said, “There is no secret potion or anything. You can’t just wave a magic wand and magically get better. You need to get out there and play a bunch. You need to work and you need to love it. You will get better that way.”
On being an athlete in a digital age, Duplantis said, “It’s cool. It definitely makes things more interesting and more interactive. The digital age has its pros and its cons.”
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, he said, “New beginnings.” “I feel like I am starting over again. It feels like the first chapter,” he said.
In his spare time, he enjoys working out, practicing his hitting in baseball, and cooking.
Yesterday, his younger brother, world-class pole vaulter Armand “Mondo” Duplantis broke the world record in the sport with a clearance of 6.17 meters. “That was awesome,” he exclaimed. “Mondo was jumping higher than he ever had, so we know he was ready for big things.”
His biggest influences in sports growing up were his family members (his father Greg Duplantis was a former pole vaulter and his mother Helena was a former heptathlete). “I watched some sports, but I wasn’t too into watching games. I liked competing. We had the pole vault in the backyard and we ended up getting a batting cage. We would play football, soccer, and baseball with the neighbors. It was fun to play and I liked to compete. My parents created an atmosphere that allowed me to do that,” he said.
Duplantis defined the word success as “tapping into his full potential” and “having no regrets whenever my career is over, whenever that may be.”
For his supporters and fans, he said, “The fans have done so much for me and they have kept me motivated, honest and humble. I am very thankful for them, especially my family. They have definitely been my biggest motivators so far and they continue to motivate me.”