Wells chosen for national combine
Ethan Wells is about to see how he stacks up against the best of the best.
The 18-year-old left-handed pitcher has been selected to participate in the New Balance Future Stars Series National Combine in Louisiana next week.
Wells is one of 200 players chosen from across North America who attended local combines in their areas. The combine will encompass mental testing, physical testing as well as game action.
“It’s definitely a lot different than just playing guys from across Ontario,” said Wells, who plays for the Niagara Falls Falcons U18 team. “I play at a high level but nowhere near the level I’ll be playing. They are top MLB prospects, all throwing low to mid 90s and hitting well. I’ll be playing against the best from the U.S. and Canada which is pretty neat.”
The Fonthill resident is eager to see how he fares.
“I am excited. I’ll have the best infielders in my age division behind me and I think it will be a good learning experience.”
Wells said there is more room for advancement from the combine with the top players selected to play at all-star game in New York at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
Wells feels the experience will be invaluable in terms of exposure.
“It’s more just to get my name out there, especially to the schools,” he said. “I think I have a lot of potential and over the next year there is a lot of growing I can do. I can fill out my frame. I’ve got the height (6-foot-3) and I’m a lefty so I think a lot of coaches and scouts have seen a lot of potential.
“I’m just hoping to go out and show what I can do and impress them enough that they can at least know my name and keep up with me as I grow over the next year.”
Wells, who recently graduated from Niagara Christian College, is a craftsman on the mound, mixing a mid-80s fastball with a big curve. He is also working on a change-up, four-seam fastball and cutter.
“I’m definitely more of a finesse guy rather than just blasting it in there,” he said. “Picking corners, low and high, and being smart is more what I do.”
Wells also plays a number of other sports — he was a member of NCC’s golf team which qualified for the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships — and he isn’t quite sure what the future has in store for him on the diamond or in the classroom.
“I’m working on it. I’m going with the flow right now,” he said.
He plans to take a gap year and concentrate on his SAT scores, continue to work with a personal trainer, and also work.
“I really want to get my arm healthy and get stronger,” he said.
Players are not charged a fee to participate in the combine but are asked to raise funds for a charity of their choice. Wells has chosen the Tim Tebow Foundation.
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