By: Brandon Jodouin
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, FLA. -- The road from a neighbourhood diamond to Major League stadium can seem unending.
Just take a look at Toronto Blue Jay outfield prospect Joshua Palacios, who has come so far in his journey, but still has a ways to go to reach the summit.
Palacios knew from the beginning what he wanted to achieve and has never veered from his path.
“Since I was young, playing professional baseball was what I wanted to do,” said the 20-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York. “Some people want to be a carpenter or a bus driver, and my goal was always to carry on the family tradition.”
That was started by his father Richard, who played in the Detroit Tigers minor league system, and his uncle Rey, who spent three seasons with the Kansas City Royals.
Not only has Palacios learned the game from some former pros in his family, he has also picked up some things from other Blue Jays prospects such as Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette, who were taught by their All-Star fathers.
“With Bichette, I got to meet his Pops (Dante Bichette) and he’s a great guy,” said the former Auburn Tiger. “I like to get to know the insight they have, and just learn the little things that the Hall of Famers and the great baseball players passed down.”
Palacios earned a taste of what being a big leaguer is like in late February, when he hit the first professional home run of his career in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It was a little surreal, it definitely motivated me to want to be at that level,” said Palacios. “It’s so much fun to play there and just hitting the home run, hearing the fans cheer, being able to trot around the bases, and have the big league uniform on.
“It was like no other feeling.”