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Oshawa ballplayer learning from Cubs organization

Legionaires third baseman and pitcher Paul Xenophontos is getting a taste of the majors in California. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Xenophontos)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

An Oshawa baseball player is getting a glimpse into the big leagues with one of baseball’s most prestigious programs.

Paul Xenophontos, a third baseman and pitcher for the Legionaires, has been with the Chicago Cubs Southern California Scout team since the middle of September and will return in November.

The Chicago Cubs Scout Team provides deserving high school players with an opportunity to develop and showcase their skills in front of colleges and professional scouts.

It also aims to prepare them for collegiate and all levels of professional baseball.

Due to its alliance with Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, the team attracts many talented players and elite coaches for training.

According to Xenophontos, it’s a great honour for him to join the team, as many major league players have been a part of the team, including current major league players Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, and former Toronto Blue Jay Kevin Pillar.

Xenophontos finished the COVID-19 shortened season with the Oshawa Legionaires, batting a .421 average, five RBIs, and a 1.121 OPS.

From the mound, he pitched 11 innings, going 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA, 13 strikeouts and four walks.

Xenophontos says his love of baseball started when he began playing at the age of five.

“When I was younger, my parents put me in many different sports, but I particularly took a liking to baseball,” he says.

He eventually went on to play for the Legionaires and thinks it’s a great organization.

“The Legionaires organization has helped me improve my game,” he explains. “I have brought all the things I have learned [in Oshawa] with me to the Cubs.”

As an Oshawa player, Xenophontos knows there is an expectation for him to perform.

“Representing Oshawa means a lot to me,” he says. “I am the only Canadian player on the Cubs.”

He hopes he can come back to Canada and share all of the knowledge and expertise of his coaches with his teammates next season.