Leggo willing to go far and wide to hone his craft

Andrew Leggo (Waterloo, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays, goes to bat on Sept. 17 against the Albert Red. Photo credit: Mitch Sanderson

Andrew Leggo (Waterloo, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays, goes to bat on Sept. 17 against the Albert Red. Photo credit: Mitch Sanderson

By: Jose Colorado

Canadian Baseball Network

Andrew Leggo’s drive to improve knows no boundaries.

From regular Buffalo road trips for baseball practice as a prepubescent boy, to a two-week stay in the Dominican Republic to compete in one of baseball’s biggest hotbeds, the Waterloo native appears ready to travel any border if it means advancing his game.

“I got lucky with (Tournament 12),” Leggo said, with a laugh. “It was only like an hour and a half to get here.”

Leggo, who attends St. David Catholic Secondary School in Waterloo, Ont., competed in the Canada's biggest prospect showcase this past week. The event was hosted by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy in collaboration with Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar, for the best college-eligible youngsters in the country.

Competing for Greg O’Halloran’s Ontario Green squad, Leggo’s team bowed out to the Prairies Purple 5-2 in the semi-finals on Thursday night to end its championship hopes, although there was much to learn said the second baseman.

“This experience is definitely towards the top of the list – these guys are top competition,” Leggo said, who is the lone representative of the Kitchener – Waterloo region to play in the tournament.

Although Leggo now finds himself playing in the most prestigious tournament in Canada and with a top amateur baseball program in the Ontario Blue Jays, it has been a long time coming.

The six-foot infielder’s career didn’t start picking up steam until he decided to leave his local Waterloo Tigers club program at 11 years old, opting instead to compete stateside in a sport intensely ingrained in the American culture.

With the New Era team – based out of Blasdell, N.Y., - Leggo struggled but also saw his skills gradually developing.

Then just three years later, the right-hander decided to push his game even further into what many consider to be the hotbed of baseball globally – the Dominican Republic.

Leggo was the only Canadian on a U16 American travel team to train and compete against the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals academies based in the Central American country.

The experiences proved trying but also invaluable into his development process.

So now as Leggo reflected on a self-described ‘subpar’ performance at the T12, where he went 0-2 at the plate and popped out with the last at-bat to end Ontario Green’s title aspirations, he is moving forward knowing of the past challenges and obstacles he has had to overcome – as well as the people who refuse to let him settle into a level of comfort.

“I have to thank my mom especially because she was really supportive of me,” he said. “She thought (the traveling) would be good for me and my baseball career.

“Both my parents have helped me a lot.”