Newmarket teenager Paul Xenophontos will be playing with some of North America's most talented baseball players after being selected to join the Chicago Cubs scout team in southern California.
The 16-year-old Dr. J.M. Denison Secondary School student, who plays third base and pitcher, trains six days a week at his family’s indoor baseball training centre in Holland Landing.
"I’m really excited to be playing with the Chicago Cubs organization as I am playing with and against some of the best players in America," he said. "Being a part of the Cubs also gives me the chance to be seen by college and professional scouts.”
Xenophontos has been playing since the age of five with the Markham Mariners AAA baseball team and then the Oshawa Legionaries elite baseball team.
“My parents put me in many different sports when I was young, but I really took a liking to baseball," said Xenophontos.
The baseball star has been the YSBA All Star for three consecutive years, was selected to play for the Nomadic International Team in Denver, Colorado last year, and has been scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and now the Chicago Cubs.
“Playing with the Chicago Cubs scout team gives him opportunities like no other organization could,” said his mother, Victoria Xenophontos. “The Chicago Cubs scout team objective is to have all rostered players sign letters of intent to play ball at the university/college level, or to be chosen through the MLB First Year Player Draft."
Xenophontos has had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and was playing in California last month and recently played in a tournament in Arizona over Thanksgiving weekend.
“The Cubs are made up of a select group of elite players that compete against top competition, all while getting you seen by both professional and college scouts,” explained Xenophontos. “You can get scouted to play for the Cubs by either going to the tryout, which has about 200 to 300 players, or being scouted by the management.”
Xenophontos’ ultimate goal is to make it to the MLB level and live his dream as a professional baseball player. It is the only sport he has played competitively where he spends most of his time training.
Xenophontos and his family look forward to the upcoming training in California.