Franklin grad Travis Lakins signs with White Sox

Travis Lakins | Contributed photo

By Michael Marts, The Report

FRANKLIN — Travis Lakins has signed with the Chicago White Sox. The 2013 Franklin graduate is excited for the opportunity.

“Most excited about just getting another opportunity and having a completely different mind set from the first time,” Lakins said. “Can’t wait to continue my story and just glad I get to do what I love again.”

Lakins was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft. The right-handed pitcher also spent time in the Cubs and Orioles organizations.

“The transition is wild,” Lakins said. “You have to be prepared every single day as a reliever. You never know when your name is going to be called. So you just have to have your routine or whatever it is to be mentally ready to go at all times. It’s a blast, and I can’t wait to get back.”

Lakins spent the last year on the Wildcats baseball staff as the pitching coach. 

“God kept calling me to baseball, and I didn’t know what route of baseball he was referring to,” Lakins said. “I thought it was coaching, but he was calling for me. So I started working out as I was coaching, started throwing more got off the mound for the first time, and I was 93-96. I knew exactly what he was calling for at that moment. I put all my trust into him to guide me.”

Franklin baseball coach Kyle Wainscott is happy for his former colleague.

“I’ve coached Travis, and now have had him on my staff,” Wainscott said. “I’ve been friends with the family my entire life and look at the Lakins family as family. So it’s so exciting for him to make another run at it and continue to make our program and community proud.

“How awesome is that our kids got to be around a big leaguer everyday this year, and now he’s making a run at getting back to that level. So what an experience for our kids.”

Lakins said he doesn’t know where he will be starting out in the White Sox organization, but he believes he will provide a great asset to the club.

“Just know that I’m gonna compete every single time I’m on the mound — give it all I got 100% of the time,” Lakins said. “They are going to have a warrior on their side.”

Wainscott said he thinks Lakins will help out the White Sox club immediately. 

“Travis will be able to provide some veteran presence in their bullpen,” Wainscott said. “When he was healthy, he had success in the long relief role. As a late inning guy, I think it’s a great situation as they are in a bit of a rebuild, and hopefully he can get back to the show quickly and make an impact.

“I think Travis has worked very hard to get back to this point and is truly healthy. A neat situation is he’s with two former teammates if he gets back up to the major league level in Andrew Benintendi who he played with growing up, and at Midland, also in the same draft class with the Red Sox.

“He also pitched to Chuckie Robinson at Midland, who is catching for the White Sox so he should feel very comfortable around those familiar faces.”

Lakins helped Franklin make two appearances to the Division II regional during his four-year varsity career. He was also a standout shortstop when he wasn’t pitching.

Lakins played at Ohio State, and in 2014, he pitched a perfect game for the Chillicothe Paints — a collegiate summer baseball team.

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