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Former Rockland Boulder Dylan Tice signs with Brooklyn Cyclones

Former Rockland Boulders second baseman Dylan Tice signed with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the New York Mets’ local affiliate.

Former Rockland Boulders second baseman Dylan Tice admitted that this past year had been a unique experience for him. Traded from Rockland to Sugar Land, who play in the Atlantic League in the off-season, Tice lasted a short duration in Texas as the Skeeters shipped Tice to the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association.

“A baseball move, I loved playing for Rockland. I just worked out trying to get into a better league and improve my chances of getting signed,” said Tice. “I was down in camp for four or five days, and I get traded to Kansas City and wasn’t too thrilled about it. Sugar Land was going to be better for me, playing more games on the East Coast and right up by my house where I could see my family and girlfriend.”

In 96 games played with the Boulders last season, Tice earned an All-Star selection. He hit .331 with five home runs and 49 RBI’s, 122 hits, 72 runs scored, 46 walks, 32 stolen bases and 23 doubles. Tice adjusted very well to playing for Kansas City, batting .331 in 68 games played with one home run and 16 RBI’s, 91 hits, 55 runs scored, 17 doubles and 12 stolen bases.

“I was concerned about not seeing anyone once I was in the Midwest but once I got there (Kansas City), I loved everything about it,” said Tice. “The manager, locker room and a heck of a baseball team. It was better than I could have imagined.” Once the Mets called with an offer, I could not refuse the opportunity to get back into affiliated ball.”

The Move To Brooklyn

So far in seven games with the Cyclones, Tice is hitting .346 (9 for 26) with 4 RBI’s and seven runs scored. “I’m getting an opportunity and making the best out it,” said Tice. I take pride in my defense and obviously love to hit, but everything goes into the game. A deeper roster, a bunch of infielders ready to play anywhere. The first game I played at third base and the last two at second base. I have taken reps at shortstop and in the outfield. It added to my utility role. I pride myself on playing every position at a high level and help me prove that. Being ready and comfortable to go at every position, keeping it simple and playing this game with confidence and showing the player I am.”

“It’s fun being part of a baseball race. We’re in the dog days, so you give whatever you have left. Having played 75 to 100 games, all beat up and grinding through it. We are just trying to build some chemistry with a bunch of guys in order to build for a playoff run. Affiliated ball is more structured and organized. The lifestyle is more controlled as well as baseball preparation. Independent baseball you’re your own about how you go about your daily basis, schedule and how you feel.”

On playing for manager Edgar Alfonzo: “It’s awesome, and he is a great manager to play for. Not only great experience but a great guy who is very approachable and easy to talk to. He teaches us well and is easy to learn from. Playing for him brings a lot of energy and another baseball mind to pick from. The coaching staff here in Brooklyn has a lot of big league experience with over 100 combined years.

“It is an honor to play in the New York Mets organization. New York is the mecca no matter what sport you play whether it be Yankees, Giants or Jets. The scene here on Coney Island has a flare with cameramen and reporters. It’s fun to get a taste of it. It brings extra energy and no day is boring. It’s always something new and someone new to meet, so it’s fun and exciting to be a part of. Playing at MCU Park, there are a lot of different jersey and themed nights. We are getting a taste of different cultures. We recently had Puerto Rican and Dominican nights.”

Always A Rockland Boulder

Tice still keeps in touch with his former Rockland Boulders teammates and coaches. “I still talk to Jamie (Keefe) and Bo (Budkevics). They congratulated me when I got signed. I’m good friends with Cody Regis. It’s important you stay in touch. It’s fun to know guys from all around the country and reunite five to ten years down the road and reminisce. Independent ball gets looked down upon. We always have a chip on our shoulder to prove that we actually can play.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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