Winkler ball player reflects on college season

Tristan Peters was nominated for a Gold Glove this season.

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Winkler born and raised baseball player Tristan Peters has ended a very successful college ball season.
Playing with the Chandler Gilbert Community College Coyotes in Arizona, he boasted impressive stats and other honours.
He led the team in at bats and many other offensive categories, was named league player of the week twice, led the league in triples in conference play, was second in the league in extra base hits, was named to the first regional all star team and second conference all star team and was nominated for a Gold Glove.
“I thought it went really well,” Peters said of the season. “The beginning was really good even though that was just against non-conference teams, and then the end was good too.”
Peters was hesitant to call a mid-season lack of scoring a “slump” but said he did go 0-14 at one point. “I just kept hitting balls right at people,” he said.
He finished the season strong, and earned his last home run by hitting a 90 mph fastball 450 feet over centre field. His stats include 423 avg, 768 slg, 1.262 OPS, 4 Hr, 3 triples, 17 RBI in 15 games.
Peters said his time in Okotoks helped prepare him for his role.
“I hadn’t played a lot of outfield until I spent a year in Okotoks,” he said. “That means for me that my practice in the outfield is paying off and that I’m not just a good hitter, I’m a good fielder as well.”
It was a big step into college ball for Peters.
“It’s a bigger step than I’ve taken at all so far,” he said. “Okotoks was already a huge step and than this… everybody is really good.”
Peters said he faced the best pitching of his career.
“We had one of the best pitching conferences in the nation,” he said. “It’s one of the more difficult conferences to be good at hitting.”
The Coyotes play close to 50 games, approximately four per week from the end of January to the end of April. That meant Peters missed a good portion of the Manitoba winter.
“I love the weather, it’s amazing,” he said of Arizona. “I (much) prefer it to snow.”
Peters is headed back to Okotoks to play summer ball. Last year he played with the high school age “Academy” team but this year will play with the “Collegiate” team, playing in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
Draft decisions
Peters could also be picked in MLB draft this season. “My coaches were telling me… if I do get drafted this year it would be in the late rounds for a cheap signing bonus,” he said.
That means he would likely not sign, since by putting pen to paper he would be forced to play pro ball, and couldn’t develop his last year of college ball.
Getting drafted is impressive, but Peters said there’s still five levels of ball before you’re in the big leagues.
“There’s a bit of a process to get all the way up there,” he said.
As a ball player in Winkler, Peters said he didn’t have a clear picture of where the sport could take him.
“I never even thought of college,” he said. “At one point I didn’t even want to move away from Winkler.”
After his experience in Okotoks, Peters said his view changed.
“I wouldn’t say I expected this at all,” he said. “I always knew I wanted to play high level but I didn’t know exactly what that meant.”
“I’m really happy with it.”

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