July 29, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
The Miami Marlins called up Canadian INF/OF Charles Leblanc as part of a serious of roster moves on Friday.
This is the 26-year-old Laval, Que., native’s first promotion to the big leagues.
Leblanc, who is in his sixth minor league season, was batting .302 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs in 87 games for the Marlins’ triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He was leading the Jumbo Shrimp with 96 hits and a .381 on-base percentage.
This season, the versatile Canuck has played 38 games at third base, 27 in left field, 17 at second base and has also seen action at first base and DH.
Originally selected in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Vanier Secondary School in Toronto, Leblanc did not sign and instead attended the University of Pittsburgh. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in his sophomore year, batting an Atlantic Coast Conference leading .405 with 45 runs and 46 RBIs in 49 games.
His performance inspired the Texas Rangers to choose him in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft. He signed with the Rangers and spent five seasons in their organization, rising as high as triple-A Round Rock in 2021.
Leblanc was chosen by the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft last December and he is in the midst of his finest professional season.
The Junior National Team alum, who also suited up for Canada in the Premier12 tournament in 2019, joins fellow Canuck Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) on the Marlins’ roster.
Leblanc is set to become the 12th player born in Canada to play in major leagues this season, joining Matt Brash (Kingston, Ont., Seattle Mariners), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que., Toronto Blue Jays), Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont., Cleveland Guardians), Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C., St. Louis Cardinals), Nick Pivetta (Victoria, B.C., Boston Red Sox), Pop, Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont., Cleveland Guardians), Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont., Toronto Blue Jays), Abraham Toro (Longueuil, Que., Seattle Mariners), Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont., Cincinnati Reds) and Rowan Wick (North Vancouver, B.C., Chicago Cubs).
Otto Lopez, who spent part of his youth in Montreal, also played a game for the Blue Jays this season.