Kyle Maves officially signed his National Letter of Intent to head to Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, but the foundation for the move was laid years ago.
When John Delaney, head coach of the Bobcats, started his professional career in the Milwaukee Brewers system, he shared the organization with current Great Lake Canadians staff members Adam Arnold, Adam Stern, and Brock Kjeldgaard. Arnold, Great Lake’s director of college placement, stayed in touch and found the perfect fit for Maves.
“Adam Arnold played in the minor leagues with John Delaney, and so I got in contact with them through him,” Maves said. “John asked me to come down for a camp and a visit at Quinnipiac, so I went for that in January, and then he kept in touch with [Arnold] to see how I was doing.
“We were talking about [start dates in] 2017 and 2018, but with the price of school and being a private school, it worked out better for 2018. John saw me in Cincinnati [at the Cincy Flames tournament] in June, and then I got the offer, and I made the commitment in July.”
While the 18-year-old chose the school because of everything it has to offer on the field and off, the background information he had thanks to the longstanding relationships that had been built was incredibly helpful in making the final decision.
“John and Pat [Egan, assistant coach] both played in the minor leagues,” Maves said. “John was an infielder and [Arnold] always says we’re kind of a similar player, a shorter, stockier-type player, so I found it a good fit to get to work with John.
“It’s a good opportunity to hone into that style of player, that scrappy player, and that’s the kind of player I want to be, going to the next level. So the opportunity was a good one for me, plus the facilities, being a beautiful school, right at the foot of massive mountains, which is pretty cool, and it’s an academic school. The academics were really important to me…
“Academically, and as a fit for my game, the style of game that I play, Quinnipiac was the way to go. It’s a good place for my future to develop…I did a pros and cons list to help me decide, and made comparisons. It was tough, but in the end it was a clear-cut decision.”
Looking forward to getting started in Hamden, Connecticut as a part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with the rest of his Bobcats teammates, Maves is also exited about beginning his post-secondary education and taking an early look at the finance world.
“I loved the campus,” he said. “It’s beautiful, with the buildings and the library and everything, it’s your classic northeast school. And then obviously it has really good academics, and they have a pretty good finance program – they’re located close to New York, about an hour out – and that’s what I’m looking to take, so it is a good fit for me.”
Before heading to Quinnipiac, Maves will spend one more season with the Canadians, where he made an early impression on the staff when he came on board two years ago, and has continued to bring a level of enthusiasm and hard work to the game that the program embodies.
“He came to us and we liked everything – he plays with a lot of energy, he’s a gamer-type kid, a kid who would run through a wall for you,” 18U manager Stern said. “I really like what he brings to a team, he’s a spark plug, top-of-the-order type of guy, has plus makeup, and is a tremendous kid not only to have on your team, but to lead a team. He’s one of the guys that we can look to as he finishes through the program, who can lead the 18U team.”
Maves believes that Great Lake has truly helped him prepare for the next level, and that he has evolved as a player in a big way since joining the Canadians.
“The biggest thing is that they teach you how to play the game the right way,” the native of Burlington said. “It’s the little things that make a big difference. And then obviously skill development. I’ve worked a lot with [Stern], on my swing and my stance and trying to be athletic in the box, that’s really helped me out a lot.
“And then [Jeff Helps], working in the field with him, working on my glove, getting more confident and getting more reps. And [Arnold], doing some arm stuff recently, working out some kinks in my shoulder and hopefully getting my arm action a little better. So overall they’ve helped me in all aspects of the game.”
The Canadians staff is excited to see what Maves can do at the next level, and look forward to following his career with the Bobcats.
“They’re getting a heck of a baseball player at Quinnipiac,” Stern said. “He’s a guy who’s going to step in as a freshman, he’s going to be able to complete for a starting spot, no doubt, and be a good infielder for them. He could probably hit at the top of the order, or as a freshman maybe down in the order until he gets his feet wet, but he’s a guy who’s going to step in right away and you know you’re going to get a solid baseball player.”