Ben Roberts, a two-way player from Burlington, Ont. will be off to USC Upstate at the conclusion of the 18u season.
The right-hander/third-baseman joined GLC at 15u and has had many fond memories since joining the organization. Roberts stated, “GLC has had a huge impact on my career in many ways. The support provided to me on and off the field has allowed me to start successfully pursuing my dreams. Also, training at arguably the best facility in the country allowed us (the players) to focus purely on training and reaching our highest potential.”
At the end of 2019, Roberts committed to play for the Spartans, a decision he came to for a handful of reasons.
“USC Upstate was a great fit for me for a few reasons. The first reason was for sure the coaching staff who have a strong track record of improving the programs at other schools. We have a similar vision for the program, and the goals I’ve set for myself align with their views,” said Roberts.
“Another big factor in my decision to go to Upstate was the ability to play baseball outside year-round. This was important to me because I have always felt as Canadians, we’re at a disadvantage not playing all year like they do down south. I believe with the opportunity to play year-round will help improve my game significantly. Additionally, Upstate has given me the opportunity to come as a 2-way player, which was an important factor for me as I don’t know which way my game will take me at this moment. Leaving all doors open was something my dad instilled in me, and I was happy to see that through in my college selection.”
Roberts is coming off of a shortened season in which he hit 91 on the radar gun, participated in the CPBL All-Star Showcase where he performed on the mound and at the plate, and attended the WWBA World Championship.
Due to COVID, his off-season has been different from a typical year, but he hasn’t allowed the circumstances to keep him from getting his work in during these times. He’s built a gym in his house and begun studying pitchers similarly to how he’s studied position players in the past.
Roberts stated, “Throughout COVID it’s definitely been a lot more inconvenient than a usual year or so, but I believe it’s given a lot of people a great opportunity to build character and show if they truly want it or not.”
“My current goals on the field are to work on my third pitch, throw harder and hit for more contact. Off the field, I’m continuing to work on my strength and mobility.”
GLC Pitching Coordinator Jon Fitzsimmons said this when asked about the two-way guy player; “Ben has dedicated every waking moment to the game of baseball. He’s found success at the plate and shown signs of elite talent on the mound due to his work ethic and constant research. He has the potential to generate a ton of swing and miss with a late breaking slider and fastball that’s creeping towards the low-mid 90s. He’s the type of kid who finds a way to be successful no matter what it takes.”
His advice for the next generation of GLC players:
“I would strongly advise future GLC players to really commit themselves to what the coaches put together, especially the lifting program as I believe that developing strength in the weight room was a big part of my success so far,” said Ben Roberts, 2021 GLC Grad.