Gatorade honors Kailua’s Cantillo

Kailua’s Joey Cantillo (18) readied to be up at bat as teammates looked on in the dugout Thursday’s game against the Pearl City Chargers. (Apr.. 13, 2017) Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser crussell@staradvertiser.com

Baseball season is over, but the accolades are piling up for Kailua scholar-athlete Joey Cantillo.

The fire-balling pitcher/first baseman was selected by Gatorade as the Hawaii baseball player of the year. Cantillo, a southpaw, went 5-1 with a 1.24 ERA and a whopping 71 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He also batted .517 with two home runs, 23 RBIs, 12 runs scored and a slugging percentage of .700. He led the state in strikeouts as a pitcher and RBIs as a hitter.

Stateline Sports Network picked the 6-foot-4 senior as the national player of the week in mid-March after he struck out a career-high 18 in a win over Kalani. He also hit 3-for-4 with two RBIs that night at Hans L’Orange Field.


MaxPreps.com named him the top player in the state coming into the spring.


Cantillo has a 3.8 grade-point average, which is a key factor in the selection process by Gatorade. He has signed to play at the University of Kentucky next season.

In his Q&A session with Hawaii Prep World, Cantillo revealed that he was named after Hall of Famer Joe Dimaggio by his father, and that his favorite class is art. Oh, and that he’s a Justin Bieber fan.

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