Royals Acquire All-Star Leader From Panthers

by Ryan Eakin

GUELPH - The Guelph Royals Baseball Club is thrilled to announce today that we have acquired three-time IBL All-Star Andy Leader from the Kitchener Panthers.

Leader, who had spent his first six seasons in the IBL with the Panthers, has a lifetime .296 batting average with 24 home runs.

The Kitchener, Ontario native is coming off a career year a season ago, having batted .368 with eight home runs en route to being voted a first-team All-Star.

The five-tool star played his college ball at Cansisus with the Golden Griffins.

Leader said he is so happy to kick his season off with the Royals.

"Missing the start of the season has just made me hungrier to get back out on the field. I'm extremely excited to have the privilege to play alongside a great Royals team and contribute in any way I can. With my Grandfather playing for Guelph early in his career, I am extremely proud to step into his shoes and be part of such a rich history that comes with the Royal City. Let's play ball."

Royals manager Dino Roumel said adding a bat of Leader's stature is a game-changer for the team.

"Andy is one of the top outfielders in this league. He is always up there when it comes to being nominated in the MVP voting. The type of respect he has around this league and the type of career he has had is amazing. He is a great guy in the clubhouse and a guy that everyone in the league likes. He is an outstanding talent and we are lucky to have him."

Jorge De La Cruz Paez and Danny Garica, meanwhile, have been released by the Royals, paving the way for them to sign with the Panthers.