In the development of a young player, we picture what opportunities await for us once we reach the proper age. If we have put in the work behind the scenes and made crucial adjustments when adversity hit, then we might just have a chance to continue playing past high school and into our adult years. To be part of the 7.3% of kids that make it onto post-secondary baseball is not a small feat, and the consideration of where you will continue your studies and baseball career is a monumental decision. Gavin Roy, an infielder for the Sudbury Voyageurs, signed on the dotted line in recent weeks as we deep-dive into what made him stand out from all the rest.
In 2021, Gavin Roy hit .351/.480/.665 and was a key member of the Sudbury Voyageurs’ run to the 18U semi-finals. That stat line, as well as his electric defence on display, showed Cloud County Community College what they needed to continue a successful program. “Last season started off slow since it was our first time playing in a long time,” Roy said. “But as the season went along I started to become more and more confident and come playoff time, I was ready to go and had my best weekend of the season.”
Baseball had a grip on Gavin Roy from a young age, however, like most Canadians, hockey was at the forefront of his mind as a youngster. “At a young age baseball was always second to hockey. I really fell in love with baseball because of how challenging it was.” He described an early memory of a walk-off double he hit during a Barrie tournament as a turning point. “I remember that moment because it really got me to fall in love with baseball,” Roy said.
But Roy is still growing up and his development happens just as much off the field as when he’s standing in the batter’s box. To avoid baseball burnout, Roy rounds out his days with high school sports with his friends. Roy mentioned growing up with hockey ahead of baseball in his hierarchy of importance, so having this release is a great escape from the rigorous baseball training six times a week with the Voyageurs. Along with hockey, Roy also plays basketball and volleyball.
At home, Roy continues to be engaged with the sporting landscape as part of his hobbies. When he needs to relax, Roy mentioned watching a lot of sports on his television with his dad. He also enjoys watching a variety of movies with his mom and girlfriend.
With several players across the league signing to play in the United States each year, Roy became part of that club as he is travelling to Kansas to play for Cloud College. “It is definitely a relief being committed, now I can just focus on my offseason training and get better from there,” Roy explained. “it was fun a process where I got a lot of help from my parents, my coach JG Larocque, and my agent Vincent Cambruzzi helped me out a lot with finding me a school that’s the right fit.“ Now that the decision is made, Roy mentioned he has access to various training programs from Cloud County to assist with his offseason work.
“It was definitely difficult to get seen because we didn’t have any tournaments in the states due to COVID and that is where the most exposure is,” Roy said. “Also, since the COVID cases we’re going up so fast, a lot of our games got cancelled and it was just hard to get in a rhythm.” Despite these cancellations, as well as some of the Voyageurs’ training being done through Zoom calls during Ontario lockdown stages leading up to the season, Roy had his teammates to rely on to get through the ever-changing baseball season.
Of course, there is still work to be done for Roy to be successful at the next level. A strength of his is that Roy has a solid understanding of his strengths and weaknesses and has a plan to maximize his performance. “I am looking to improve my offensive side of the game by really making sure I bring the right approach to practice,” Roy said. “the most important things for when working on my swing are a controlled bat path and I’ve been working on getting good launch angles.”
Roy’s strength is self-described as the ability to stay constantly engaged in his baseball activities to stay consistent. “About once a month I sit down with my coach and watch video on my swing and where I can improve, then I work on whatever I need to work on in the cage for the next couple weeks.” For anyone familiar with training, you may feel that everything is perfect; that is until you check the video. Video work is always a smart method to correct unconscious errors, an ideology Roy and his team seem to also share.
Despite the start-and-stop pace from the last offseason, Gavin Roy didn’t let it bother him in his goal to continue his baseball development. “For myself, I put in a lot of extra work at home to make sure I’m ready to jump right into the season,” Roy explained. As captain of the infield, Roy knows how to be a leader, something that Cloud College also saw in the young infielder. A well-rounded kid, Roy’s love for the game has kept his motivation up when most would have slacked off, and that has kept him on the journey to success. “I think the biggest thing I have learned from my parents and coaches is that baseball is a huge mental game because you fail more times than you succeed, so to make sure I stay focused and calm when things don’t go your way is very important.”