Comox Valley minor ball product Carter Bell playing for Arizona Diamondbacks’ affiliate

He started out at local ball diamonds before moving on to the provincial and college ranks. This season, Carter Bell has stepped up to professional-level baseball with the Yakima Bears of the Class A Short-Season Northwest League.

Carter bell

Carter bell

He started out at local ball diamonds before moving on to the provincial and college ranks.

This season, Carter Bell has stepped up to professional-level baseball with the Yakima Bears of the Class A Short-Season Northwest League.

Although the team sports more losses than wins as the regular season winds down, the third baseman said his squad is “turning it around” and getting better.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Bell said before a Sunday night game against the Boise Hawks. “For a lot of guys it’s their first time playing pro ball…It’s been a good change for me.”

Bell and his teammates are benefiting from the expertise of two members of the Bears’ coaching staff who played big league baseball for several years.

“They definitely know the game and they’re passing it on to us,” he said.

The Northwest League consists of eight teams, each of which is associated with a Major League Baseball club. Yakima’s affiliate is the Arizona Diamondbacks, who selected Bell in the 29th round of the first-year player draft in June. In 2008, the San Francisco Giants selected him in the 22nd round, but Bell opted instead to play ball at Oregon State University on a scholarship.

“It’s one of the elite programs in the nation,” Bell said, noting his team made it to super regionals and finished second in the Pac-10 Conference. “The coaches there, they teach you a whole bunch about becoming a grown man and just playing the game. The college experience and college atmosphere, I’m really happy I got to experience it.”

A communications major, Bell was the lone Canadian baseball player last season in the Pac-10, which has since become the Pac-12. He hit around .330 during an injury-plagued season that included a torn quadriceps muscle and a broken finger. The team’s second-place finish was a pleasant surprise, considering its pre-season ranking of 75th in the nation and eighth in the conference.

“We ended up being ranked as high as second in the nation, Bell said. “We were leading the Pac-10 all the way until the last series. We proved a lot of people wrong.”

He and several OSU teammates were drafted by Major League teams. Because Bell signed with Arizona in June, the club sent him straight to Yakima.

Next year he plans to attend the Diamondbacks spring training. With any luck, he will someday step onto an MLB playing field.

“That’s the ultimate goal, but you’ve gotta’ start somewhere. I’m just happy to get my professional career started and work from here.”

When asked about his strengths, the Vanier graduate said there is always room for improvement in his game.

“It’s baseball and you’re always trying to improve. Baseball’s one of those games where you never stop learning,” he said. “I have fun when I’m out there and I play with some enthusiasm. I like to keep it upbeat and have fun and keep the guys loose. You don’t play well when you’re all tight and scared.”

The Victoria-born Bell grew up playing in the Comox Valley Baseball Association, then spent three years with the Parksville Royals of the B.C. Premier Baseball League.

“Definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today without all the help that’s been around the Valley, and with my parents helping me out,” said Bell, who played for Team Canada last summer at worlds in Japan.

Despite losing 4-1 to the Hawks on Sunday, the Bears are only a few games back from Boise as playoffs approach.

“That’s everybody’s goal around here is to make the playoffs and get that experience. We definitely have to start playing at a higher level.”

On an individual basis, he said his season is “going OK.” As of Wednesday he was seventh among Bears’ batters with a .263 average.

“I started off feeling pretty comfortable. It’s baseball, so you have your ups and downs. Just trying to stay consistent,” Bell said. “It’s just all a learning experience. I enjoy it a whole bunch. It’s definitely like a dream come true. I’m just really happy to be in this situation.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Erin Chan accepted her prize of a Staycation at The Kingfisher valued at $500, for winning the  Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest. Photo by Nicole Fowler
Winner announced in Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest

Erin Chan has been named the grand prize winner of the Discover… Continue reading

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

A non-profit society hopes to keep musical theatre alive this summer in… Continue reading

The development permit application is for the back of a property at 2522 Dunsmuir Ave. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Privacy, heritage reasons for secondary house denial in Cumberland

Majority of council wants to see something more in line with Camp Road’s character

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The Connect Warming Centre has been operating as an emergency overnight shelter in recent weeks. File photo
Grant funds would provide urgent, temporary support to homeless in Comox Valley

At its April 13 meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board agreed… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The 5th Street Bridge Project, which began April 14, is expected to take 6 months to complete. Scott Stanfield photo
5th Street Bridge Project begins in Courtenay

The 5th Street Bridge rehabilitation project began Thursday in Courtenay. The $6.5… Continue reading

Most Read