MLB Alumni: Chris Leroux
Chris Leroux comes out of Team Ontario's Class of 2002 and was apart of the organization during a time that saw several big-time arms leave the program and head to pro ball.
Leroux, now 36-years-old was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in 2002 (9th round) before heading to Winthrop University for three years before being drafted again, this time in the 7th round by the Florida Marlins.
The Team O alumnus pitched over 175 innings in his first three pro seasons between rookie league and Single-A before making the jump to Double-A in 2009, his fourth pro season. While 2009 was the year he moved on up from Single-A, he also made the jump to the big leagues before ever playing a game in Triple-A.
Leroux appeared in 5 games for the Marlins in 2009, pitching 6.2 innings but he took a big step forward develop wise with some stellar numbers in Double-A, on top of the experience pitching against big league lineups.
The Mississauga native appeared in the majors each of the following five seasons, spending part of 2010 with the Marlins before the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him off the waivers. Leroux would go on to spend the majority of his career with the Pirates, pitching three and a half seasons in Pittsburgh before closing out his career with the Yankees.
The right-hander went on to pitch in six big league seasons and as well as some time in Japan with Tokyo Yakult Swallows. While he's just one of five big leaguers in Team Ontario history, some of his finest moments throughout his pro career came with a Team Canada uniform on as he appeared in eight tournaments between 2002 and 2019.
Most notably, he pitched in three World Baseball Classic's for the red and white and won gold at the 2017 Pan Am Games on home soil in Ajax, Ontario.
Following his final pro innings in the winter of 2017, Leroux was back on television but not wearing a baseball uniform this time. Leroux was 'The Bachelor' on season 3 of The Bachelor Canada in what seems to have set him up for a career in the TV/radio industry following his playing days.
Leroux has since spent some time with Sportsnet Fan590 in Toronto covering the Blue Jays and you can still catch him on the radio from time-to-time with his baseball insight.
There was no doubt from a young age the Montreal-born hurler was primed for a lengthy career in the game but he surpassed even those expectations becoming a well-known name in the sport across the country.