Panther LeBlanc, Cougar Stading Trading in for Growler Claws
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers are pleased to announce the signing of infielders Charles LeBlanc of the University of Pittsburgh and Jordan Stading of the University of Houston for the 2015 season.
Charles LeBlanc: 6’4” – 205lb, INF, Bats R/Throws R, Pittsburgh (Fr.), Laval, Quebec.
Jordan Stading: 6’3” – 205lb, INF, Bats L/Throws R, Houston (So.), Katy, TX.
A sweet-swinging French-Canadian, freshman Charles LeBlanc is already one of Pittsburgh’s top hitters. Through the Panthers’ first 26 games, he is batting .297 with a team-leading 30 hits, six doubles, 13 runs, and 15 runs batted in. High points include a five-RBI performance against then-No. 11 North Carolina and a single and steal against then-No. 1 Virginia. LeBlanc has been Pitt’s starting shortstop in every game this season, leading the team with 70 assists.
A Naval, Quebec native and Georges-Vanier High School graduate, LeBlanc has already gotten serious attention from big-league scouts. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB Draft, the youngest of 16 Canadians selected. LeBlanc did his country proud at the 18U Pan American Championship in 2014, hitting .313 and scoring 12 runs for bronze-medalist Canada. Before enrolling at Pitt, LeBlanc spent time in the Ontario Blue Jays amateur organization, an elite pipeline for top Canadian talent that frequently plays against American Division I opponents.
Jordan Stading has seen action in five games for perennial College World Series contenders Houston, posting a .364 on-base percentage in 11 plate appearances. He made three starts for the Cougars in a four-game series against Columbia the weekend of February 27 to March 1. As a freshman last season, Stading hit .225 with 13 RBIs and a .385 OBP in 41 games, making 30 starts primarily as a third baseman.
A native of the Houston suburb of Katy, Stading was a standout two-sport athlete at Second Baptist High School. He hit .416 with 27 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage during his senior year in 2013, earning his second straight first-team all-state nod and a spot on the all-tournament team at the state championships. The Eagles went 103-29 in Stading’s four years on varsity, winning two district championships and making it to the state championship game in 2011. Stading was also an honorable mention all-state wide receiver for the Second Baptist football team and earned the school’s Golden Eagle Award as its top student-athlete.
Kalamazoo begins its second season on Tuesday, May 26 at Madison. The Growlers’ home opener comes on Friday, May 29 against the Battle Creek Bombers. The full Growlers schedule can be found here. For information on 2015 Growlers season tickets, click here.
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The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit http://www.growlersbaseball.com.