Joseph Roger Michel Laplante
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 180 lb.
- School Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Pitcher Michel Laplante played for Team Canada in the 1991 Pan American Games. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 24th round of the 1992 amateur draft. He played four years in their system, reaching the AA level in 1994, before moving on to the independent leagues. He also spent part of the 1997 season in Taiwan, going 6-10 with 5 saves and a 3.50 ERA for the Chianan Luka. In 2000, he spent time in the Montreal Expos and Atlanta Braves organizations. Surgery in 2000 put an end to his career in Organized Baseball; he would not play at all in 2001. He returned to the independent leagues in 2002, playing for the Capitales de Québec in the Canadian-American Association before taking the plunge and becoming their manager.
Laplante was manager of the Capitales beginning in 2005, and was their manager when the team won the Can-Am League championship in 2006. He was still pitching for the Capitales on occasion. He stayed as their manager until 2009, winning another league title that last season when the team featured two former major leaguers from Quebec, league MVP Pete LaForest and pitcher Eric Gagné. After the season, he became the team's general manager and President while hitting coach Pat Scalabrini succeeded him as manager.
In addition to his pitching and coaching experience, Laplante is the founder of the B45 company, which manufactures high-end bats used by a number of major league players. Laplante became intrigued in the early 2000s about making bats out of yellow birch, a hard wood that had never been used to manufacture bats previously. Meeting with a lot of skepticism at first, he eventually convinced some of his players to use the bats, which combine the hardness of maple with the flexibility of ash. From these very modest beginnings, the company became a major supplier of bats throughout professional baseball in North America. The manufacturing process involves a number of tools of his own design.
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|2005||Quebec Capitales||Can-Am Association||57-34||1st||Independent Leagues||Lost League Finals|
|2006||Quebec Capitales||Can-Am Association||44-44||4th||Independent Leagues||League Champs|
|2007||Quebec Capitales||Can-Am Association||49-45||5th||Independent Leagues|
|2008||Quebec Capitales||Can-Am Association||58-36||1st||Independent Leagues||Lost League Finals|
|2009||Quebec Capitales||Can-Am Association||53-41||3rd||Independent Leagues||League Champs|
- Carl Tardif: "Michel Laplante: «Je n'ai aucune idée comment je m'en suis sorti»", Le Soleil, Quebec, QC, September 6, 2016.