Antoine Jean has been a solid arm for the Falmouth Commodores’ starting rotation since joining the team on June 29th. In five starts on the mound, the southpaw has compiled a 4.19 ERA in 19.1 innings of work. The rising junior at the University of Alabama has also struck out 15 batters.
Will Kharfen had the chance to sit down with Jean to talk about his season and interests.
Q&A with Antoine Jean
Will Kharfen: What’s your hometown?
Antoine Jean: Montreal, Canada.
WK: What was it like growing up there?
AJ: Where I’m from, baseball is not that big. I started playing hockey when I was four. So I was a hockey player before baseball. I started playing baseball a little older, and growing up there, it’s a whole different thing. We speak French where I’m from, so I learned English later on.
WK: Why did you decide to attend the University of Alabama?
AJ: I was a late guy, so I didn’t have many offers in my high school career. So, Alabama was a place that came to me late, and as soon as I talked to people there when I went on my visit, it felt right for me.
WK: Do you have any nicknames people call you?
AJ: When I got to Bama, people didn’t know how to pronounce my name, so they called me ‘Twon.
WK: What’s your favorite baseball team?
AJ: I liked the Cardinals in 2011. I also liked the Red Sox when they won in 2013. I started liking the Blue Jays once Marcus Stroman was there.
WK: Who is your favorite baseball player?
AJ: When I was younger Albert Pujols and now I would say Marcus Stroman.
WK: Which MLB player do you try to replicate and model your game after?
AJ: I try to replicate a lot of guys who I see good things from.. And try to always keep my eyes open. I’ve heard when I was younger, I personally looked like Cole Hamels, with his change up and all that.
WK: Who is your favorite non-baseball athlete?
AJ: There’s a tie between Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.
WK: What’s your favorite non-baseball team?
AJ: Montreal Canadiens.
WK: What’s your favorite food?
AJ: Every kind of pasta.
WK: What’s your favorite movie?
AJ: Like Mike is my favorite of all-time.
WK: What’s your favorite TV Show?
AJ: Johnny Test.
WK: Who’s your favorite musical artist?
AJ: Everything Lil Baby, I’m a huge rap guy.
WK: What’s a hidden talent or secret people may not know about you?
AJ: That I speak French and didn’t learn English too long ago.
WK: What’s been your favorite part of being in Falmouth?
AJ: Just getting here and forming bonds with players quickly, and with my host family too. I have a really good host dad. With the guys here, you form bonds that are going to go beyond this summer.
WK: Who is someone that has been very influential in your success?
AJ: All of my coaches. Everywhere I’ve been, my goal has always been to reach that next step. So, every coach that I’ve had has helped me reach that next step everytime.
WK: So far throughout your baseball career, what has been a baseball accomplishment that you are most proud of?
AJ: I would say making the Canadian Junior National Team, playing for my country during the world championships, and getting drafted out of high school.
WK: What was it like making your national team?
AJ: It was special. That had always been a goal of mine. I remember when it happened, I was sitting on my couch from like four to eight waiting for a call. When my best friend got the call, he FaceTimed me to tell me and I got the call at the same moment. So yeah, that was crazy.
WK: What does it mean for you to have the opportunity to be selected to play here in the Cape Cod Baseball League?
AJ: Like I said, just reaching the next step all the time. That’s another thing that’s going to help me reach the next step. That’s my goal and that’s what I want to do. So, I see this as a big opportunity to reach the next step again.
WK: As the season comes to a close, what were your biggest goals that you were looking to accomplish and what were you working to improve in your game?
AJ: I had big goals from last season during my sophomore year at Bama. I had a good role over there, but got injured early in the year, which shut me down for pretty much the rest of the year. So, I had rehab to go through and that was tough on me. So, just coming here and being able to pitch again and get used to it again and to just get the feel back. So, that was my main goal, to come in here and pitch.
This Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Note: Featured image by Meghan Murphy.