After making immense strides during his time with the Great Lake Canadians program, Ethan Baptie has secured a spot for the next step in his young baseball career, with a commitment to the Dodge City Conquistadors.
With a strong GLC presence among the Conqs in recent years, Baptie learned a lot about the program before talking to head coach Phil Stephenson, and couldn’t be more excited about his decision.
“I got a text in February from the coach,” the young outfielder said. “[GLC director of college placement Adam Arnold] had reached out to him and started talking to him about me, and how I play, and then the coach reached out to me and we started talking. We talked for a couple months, and I talked to a couple of other schools, and then things fell into place.”
The choice was an easy one for Baptie, who leaned on members of the GLC family to help make the decision final.
“I talked to Arnold a lot about going there,” Baptie said. “He really likes that loop, and I’ve done some research, and I know it’s a competitive conference. There are a lot of good teams playing there.
“And I talk a lot with [GLC alum and current Conqs outfielder] Spencer Marcus and he told me it’s a great place, and it’s a really well-run program. He knows I would like it there, so of course I took that into consideration.”
Though he hasn’t yet had a chance to visit the campus in Dodge City, Kansas, Marcus helped to give Baptie a glimpse of what the future will hold.
“Spencer sent me some pictures, and of course I did my own research online and saw the facilities, the field, and things like that,” Baptie said. “I had my eyes on going the JUCO route, and then for me, a big factor [in the decision-making process] was being part of a family. Spencer made it clear that it’s pretty much like that down there. They really bring you in and make you a part of what they do there.”
Baptie has enjoyed the time he’s had with the Canadians organization, and believes the program has helped to prepare him for what lies ahead at the next level.
“Being with GLC has been amazing,” he said. “The development and what they provide there has been great. I’ve been a part of the program for almost two years – when I’m done it will be two years – and from where I was when I came here, to where I am now, there’s a huge difference. And of course they prepare players for college, and that’s what happened.”
Before he heads off to Kansas, Baptie is looking forward to one more Canadian Premier Baseball League season with his GLC teammates, and is excited about the season ahead.
“I definitely want to win a CPBL championship,” he said. “But we’ve got a good team this year, and I think we can definitely do really well in tournaments, as well as in the season, so I’m looking forward to it.”
The GLC staff is looking forward to seeing what the young outfielder can do as he takes the next step in his baseball career, especially after seeing his improvements over the last couple of years firsthand.
“He might be one of the more improved players I’ve seen in the last two years,” said GLC director of player development Adam Stern. “The way he’s gone about his work and his off-season has been impressive.
“He’s changed his game a lot. He’s gotten better at all facets. He’s running better, throwing better, and he put himself in a better position to go off to college. It’s fun to watch a kid like him turn it around and make himself a legitimate college prospect.”
Beyond the CPBL season, Baptie is excited to join the Conqs and get out on the field.
“I think I can play a key role there, so I am really looking forward to that,” Baptie said. “I’m excited about going there and competing the best I can, and hopefully helping the team win.”
Added Stern: “He’s going to be an asset, and he’s going a dynamic player. He can play defence, he’s going to give you quality at-bats; he’s a guy who’s going to steal some bases, so he adds a little on both sides of the ball. But the energy he brings to the field every day is one of those things that can help a team.”