Justin Connell: The Spaniard of Lake Country

Justin Connel: The Spaniard of Lake Country

From hitting beans to baseballs, new Lake Country DockHounds player Justin Connell’s passion for the sport runs deep. 

After being born in Barcelona, Spain, Connell moved to Florida at the age of nine – his love for baseball followed. When his disliking for school led to an early morning batting practice bribe from his father, it further proved his love for the game.

“I didn’t like going to school so my dad bribed me by saying if I got up for school on time, he’d pitch to me before,” Connell said. “He used to pitch beans to me and it was my favorite activity.”

The bean-hitting sessions before dawn emphasized that the ambitious 9-year-old was destined for success. 

“As a kid, I believed I could do anything,” Connell said. “I could play in the NFL, the MLB, and the NBA all at once and I truly believed that. The older you get, the more naysayers there are but you have to keep that inner kid alive… sometimes you have to listen to that little kid because that little kid is right.”

Before long, he wasn’t just hitting beans, he was hitting baseballs for a major league organization. Connell was drafted to the Washington Nationals in 2017. After achieving his childhood goal, he attributes his younger self for his hunger to be better. 

“Ever since I was little I was interested in finding the best version of myself,” Connell said. “I am constantly searching for that answer. It could be in my diet…the effects of cold plunging in the morning or getting in a sauna every day, I was always searching for what would bring out the best version of me.”

A Trip To The World Baseball Classic

That desire to be better earned him a spot in the World Baseball Classic. After COVID delayed the event until 2022, Connell was eager to accomplish another dream.

“One of the most exciting times was when the WBC would be on,” Connell said. “Watching teams like USA, Japan, and the Dominican Republic, teams with a lot of talent. It was something where I wanted to be there.”

After being born in Spain, he had earned citizenship within the nation. With that, Connell’s dream of making it to the WBC had become a reality. 

“It was a crazy experience,” Connell said. “I got a call from my agent saying Spain wanted me to play for them. It was kind of like the excitement from when you were a little kid playing in the seeded tournaments. The WBC was like I got to play like a little kid again.”

Now with Connell’s WBC experience, he is just grateful to continue playing the game that he adores. 

“Anytime that you get to put on the jersey and play baseball, it’s a great experience,” Connell said. “I am excited to go out and honestly just play the game that I love.”

This season, Connell will be playing for the DockHounds and he wants the fans to know one thing, that he strives for excellence. 

“Every day, you are going to get a competitor,” Connell said. “I love to win. Whatever it takes to win the ball game is what I want to do. Whatever it takes is what I am going to give.”

With Connell’s devotion, experience, and determination to be better, he is a player the DockHounds are excited to have. 


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