ORLEANS – Travis Honeyman had heard a lot about Cape Cod.
In fact, there were times the Long Island native wondered if his Boston College teammates would ever pipe down about the Cape.
“I had never been to the Cape in my entire life but all of my teammates from BC that are from Massachusetts would swear by it,” said Honeyman, an outfielder from Massapequa, N.Y. “They’d say it was the best place ever and all they’d talk about is Cape, Cape, Cape. I’m starting to see why they say that.”
After spending last summer playing for the Rhode Island-based Ocean State Waves in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Honeyman is finally getting his first taste of the Cape as a member of the Orleans Firebirds.
It’s been a productive summer for Honeyman — he’s posted a league-best .395 batting average and has hit five doubles, three home runs and five RBIs through 12 games.
Much of his success has come at the top of Orleans’ lineup in the prominent leadoff position he gained familiarity with this spring while batting .329 in 40 starts during his sophomore campaign at BC.
“I hit leadoff for BC this year and it’s my favorite spot to hit,” Honeyman said. “You get to set the tone and go up there with some energy and get the boys going and start the game off. It’s a lot of fun.”
Honeyman has reached base safely in each of the 12 games he’s played this summer. The only game he didn’t record a hit was when he went 0 for 2 with a walk during Orleans’ 3-2 win at Falmouth on June 19.
He’s recorded two or more hits in six games, a clear reflection that his knack for putting the ball in play is paying dividends.
“Usually when you put the ball in play, good things happen,” Honeyman explained.
It’s those bat-to-ball skills that Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson admires.
“He puts the ball in play, he can run and he’s got really good plate discipline,” Nicholson said. “I think he sees the ball really well. He makes good swing decisions, and I think that’s why he’s off to a good start.”
Success is nothing new to Honeyman. In high school, he helped guide Massapequa High School to a state title in 2018, a state championship appearance in ’17 and a semifinals berth in ’19.
Last summer, he became the first player in Ocean State franchise history to be crowned the NECBL’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .430 to break the league’s previous batting average record of .429 set by Jim Deschaine in 1997.
After arriving on the Cape with some doubts, Honeyman said his confidence has definitely grown and that he now recognizes he deserves a place among the best prospects in the nation.
“In the beginning I was a little timid, now I know that I belong here,” he said.
Throughout his journey, Honeyman has looked toward his brother Bobby, who recently retired from baseball after reaching Double-A in the Seattle Mariners organization, for advice.
“He’s been a huge impact on my baseball career,” Honeyman said. “He keeps me level-headed and does a very good job of that. He also tells me to have as much fun as possible because you don’t know how long you’ll be playing this game for.”
For now, Honeyman is enjoying playing on the Cape. As much as he enjoyed last summer’s experience in the NECBL, he said the Cape League takes summer ball to a new level.
“[Rhode Island] was a great place. I had a great host family and it was a great environment, but there’s something about the Cape that’s different,” Honeyman said. “It’s a beautiful environment, we get a lot of people that come to the games, a lot of great guys from all different kinds of schools from all over the country, and a big emphasis on the fans — we get a lot of fans every night, which it’s great to play in front of a lot of people.”
Honeyman’s only Cape complaint? He’s struggled to find late night eats after games.
“I will say there are not a lot of restaurants open past 3 p.m.,” he said with a laugh. “Everything closes, so I’ve eaten a lot of Wendy’s. I like Wendy’s, but seven times a week isn’t the best for you. That’s what I’ve been going with lately.”
Although it may not be the preferred seafood diet that many summer travelers flock to the Cape for, Wendy’s has been working wonders for the Cape League’s current Hit King.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org.