Christopher Pouliot: a “left paw” to watch

Christopher Pouliot: a “left paw” to watch

Left-handed pitcher Christopher Pouliot has a bright future. This is how he was presented this week with the Russell Martin Trophy, awarded to the best professional prospect among the players of the Quebec Elite Junior Baseball League (LBJÉQ).

If he plays with the Voyageurs de Saguenay during the summer, Pouliot is also a member of the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh, in the first division of the NCAA.

“I came back from Pittsburgh towards the end of November and here I just finished my two weeks of quarantine,” said the 19-year-old from Boischatel, in the Quebec region. It was good for me this fall, my biggest challenge was to prove that I was back in great shape. “

Christopher Pouliot: a “left paw” to watch

COURTESY PHOTO / Antoine Meunier / Baseball Quebec

Pouliot had indeed dealt with some pain in his left elbow last year in his debut in Pittsburgh and he had not been able to show off. Since then, the pitcher has taken advantage of the summer, among the Voyageurs, to show that a period of rest had been beneficial to him.

“In my first game of the season, in mid-July, I had 13 strikeouts in five innings against the Alouettes [de Charlesbourg], that gave me a “boost”, ”admitted the gunner, who finished the campaign with a 3-0 record and an earned run average of 2.03 in 20 innings and two thirds of work. in the LBJÉQ.

Christopher Pouliot: a “left paw” to watch

COURTESY PHOTO / Audrey Tremblay / Travelers from Saguenay

Dominant, who is a big fan of Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has also totaled 32 strikeouts, while allowing a big total of three walks.

Go 90 miles an hour

In Pittsburgh, games were called off in the NCAA and training was disrupted for several weeks due to multiple cases of COVID-19 among the Panthers. Despite everything, Pouliot continued to develop, especially during certain intra-team matches.

“I managed to gain a few miles an hour with my fastball,” said the southpaw, whose best shots were timed at 91 mph. I’m happy, but I still have a few miles an hour to go. ”

By attending the University of Pittsburgh, Pouliot follows in the footsteps of a trainer who, according to him, was very important in his development: Marc-Antoine Bérubé.

Speaking of Bérubé, he attended the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 before moving into the minor leagues in the Oakland Athletics organization. The one who was a right-handed gunner now occupies the position of pitching coordinator at the Canadian Baseball Academy (ABC), which brings together the best players in Quebec.

“I first got to know Marc-Antoine as a coach in the sports-study program in Quebec, with the Canonniers,” said Pouliot. He immediately impressed me with his work ethic and he was always well prepared. We then met in Montreal, at the ABC. He’s a good coach technically, but also mentally and that’s very important in baseball. It’s a lot because of him that I made it to Pittsburgh and not just because of the contacts he had so that I could go. ”

Drafted one day?

Benoit Rioux

If he dreams of reaching major baseball, Christopher Pouliot prefers not to project himself too far and to go there one year at a time.

“Nature has been good for me since I’m left-handed,” admitted the young pitcher, laughing. It probably gives me one more chance to break through. ”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he was drafted one day,” observed his former coach Marc-Antoine Bérubé, pitching coordinator at the Canadian Baseball Academy. I would not have recommended it to the University of Pittsburgh without being convinced of its potential. For the framing, it’s hard to find better than in Pittsburgh. There, you’re treated better than in the minor leagues. “

Christopher Pouliot: a “left paw” to watch

“Christopher, he’s a natural, he has ease in everything, continued Bérubé. When he was younger, he tended to put his own things in the wheels because he’s a perfectionist. He had a hard time accepting failure and he was putting pressure on himself, but it’s crazy the progress he has made, both on and off the pitch. ”

Not for a few years

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his status as a “freshman” which has been protected in the NCAA, Pouliot risks attending the University of Pittsburgh for at least two more years before being eligible for the Major League Baseball Draft .

“The next step is to play my first games in the NCAA,” he said, returning to Pittsburgh at the beginning of January. Until now, they say that a season will be in 2021. By finding myself at the mound against the other teams, I will have a better idea of ​​what the caliber looks like. ”

The University of Pittsburgh Panthers, with whom Quebec infielder Charles Leblanc also played, play in the ACC conference, which is particularly popular with recruiters in the United States. Bérubé was drafted by Oakland in 2015, Leblanc by the Texas Rangers in 2016 and Pouliot could be added in a few years.

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