The Tournament 12 (T12) in Toronto has come and gone for another year, but we’re still checking in with some of the Alberta players who took part in the prestigious showcase event.
Catcher Jean-Luc Bussieres, 17, is one of the 150 baseball prospects who played at Rogers Centre in the T12, which took place from Sept. 17-21. Originally from Edmonton, but now attending Foothills Composite High School as he trains at Dawgs Academy in Okotoks, Bussieres was kind enough to make time for us recently.
Here’s what he had to say in response to seven questions we asked him as part of our ongoing 7th Inning Stretch series:
1. You grew up playing other sports, including hockey. Do you still play hockey?
I recently quit playing hockey after Bantam AAA to focus mainly on baseball and to pursue a career in the game I love.
2. What has your time at Dawgs Academy been like so far?
It’s been an amazing experience. The coaches are extremely experienced and my eyes have been opened to so many different aspects of the game.
My experience with the Dawgs has allowed me to create many friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. All around my game has improved tremendously since joining the Dawgs Academy and I’m very fortunate to be a part of the Dawgs family.
3. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player?
Probably my dad, as he introduced me to baseball and has always been by my side, from coaching me as a young kid to coming to my games and supporting me from the stands.
He’s always taught me to give everything I do 100% effort, and that’s how I carry out all things in my life. His guidance through baseball and through life has helped me to grow not only as a baseball player, but as a man, as well.
4. Who is your favourite Major League Baseball (MLB) player and why?
I think right now it has to be Gary Sanchez, as he brings not only a great defensive edge to the game, but also a very exciting offensive side, as well. He’s just fun to watch all around.
5. Break down your baseball abilities for us. What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses?
Some of my strengths are that I’m very mechanically sound behind the plate – I receive and block well, and I have a good arm behind the plate. I’m quick with my movements. I also think the game very well. I’m able to stay quiet behind the dish, which allows me to win several strikes. Also I am very determined and a very hard worker. I’m a line drive spray hitter, and I use all parts of the ball park well.
Some weaknesses would be that I’m not an extreme power hitter and I’m not a plus runner.
6. What is your fondest baseball memory?
My favourite baseball memory has to be hitting a walk-off home run in the Perfect Game BCS National Championship … and that has to be tied with winning the Perfect Game BCS National Championship just four days later.
7. When you’re not at the ballpark, what do you like to do?
I love to hang out with my friends, and play other sports. I enjoy spending time outside and playing video games, as well as going back to Edmonton when we have time off to visit my family.
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