Sandy Leon
Sandy Leon
30-Year-Old CatcherC
Boston Red Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
They won the World Series, but the catching situation in Boston was a bit of a mess, with Leon leading the group with 288 plate appearances. The 29-year-old posted an atrocious 33 wRC+, which was worst in MLB among hitters with at least 250 plate appearances (fellow teammate and catcher Christian Vazquez was second-worst with a wRC+ of 42). He started 78 games behind the plate as the Red Sox essentially split their catching duties between Leon, Vazquez and Blake Swihart, who combined to produce -3.4 bWAR at the position. Leon continues to rate as a plus defender, but that does little to satisfy fantasy owners. Vazquez missed nearly two months in 2018 with a broken finger and is likely to begin 2019 atop the depth chart, but nothing is set in stone for the catchers currently on the roster given the offensive ineptitude displayed this past season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $2.48 million contract with the Red Sox in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Scores, drives in run Sunday
CBoston Red Sox
September 9, 2019
Leon went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run scored in Sunday's 10-5 loss to the Red Sox.
The two hits nearly matched Leon's output from the entire month of August (three). Sunday's start was Leon's first of September, and his playing time behind the dish will likely remain scarce so long as Boston remains alive in the playoff hunt.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
Since 2017vs Left .572 242 27 6 31 0 .195 .258 .314
Since 2017vs Right .571 538 49 11 49 1 .201 .259 .311
2019vs Left .514 79 6 3 9 0 .187 .208 .307
2019vs Right .570 112 8 2 10 0 .196 .282 .289
2018vs Left .466 82 11 1 6 0 .153 .244 .222
2018vs Right .527 206 19 4 16 1 .187 .227 .301
2017vs Left .732 81 10 2 16 0 .247 .321 .411
2017vs Right .612 220 22 5 23 0 .217 .279 .333
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .630 372 41 9 47 1 .223 .268 .362
Since 2017Away .516 408 35 8 33 0 .176 .251 .264
2019Home .726 86 10 4 14 0 .259 .294 .432
2019Away .392 105 4 1 5 0 .132 .216 .176
2018Home .498 136 15 2 11 1 .177 .206 .292
2018Away .522 152 15 3 11 0 .178 .255 .267
2017Home .697 150 16 3 22 0 .246 .309 .388
2017Away .593 151 16 4 17 0 .204 .272 .321
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Stat Review
How does Sandy Leon compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
85.2 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After getting called up to the big leagues in June of 2016, Leon slashed .310/.369/.845 for the Red Sox the rest of the way, and came into this past season with decent expectations. But the veteran catcher was unable to come close to last year's promise, as he hit .225 with an OPS of .644 in 85 games. His power numbers were nearly identical, but Christian Vazquez eventually emerged as the preferred backstop for Boston, with Leon barely making an impact over the final couple months. Some positives for Leon: his ability to hit from both sides of the plate and draw walks at a useful clip (8.3 percent last season). Unfortunately, those skills are not enough to make Leon a worthwhile target, even in two-catcher mixed leagues. He could be out of a job entirely if the Red Sox upgrade behind the plate at any point in 2018.
Following the injuries of catchers Ryan Hanigan and Blake Swihart, Leon was called up in June to back up defensive specialist Christian Vazquez. He started off his major league campaign on a tear, posting a 1.074 OPS over his first 167 plate appearances, earning him the starting job from from the offensively struggling Vazquez, who batted just .227. The switch-hitting backstop mashed southpaws .373/.450/.612 (0.77 BB/K), while posting a modest .286/.337/.427 line against righties (0.25 BB/K). Although his bat cooled off a bit (.213/.286/.253 in September), the 28-year-old still slashed .310/.369/.476 in 78 games after being called up. Leon also led the Red Sox in innings behind the plate, catching 600.1 innings last season, earning the trust of manager John Farrell in the process. Even if Boston doesn't add an alternative to the depth chart before the start of spring training, Leon is only a marginal bet to open 2017 as Boston's starter. He'll likely only deliver occasional utility in two-catcher mixed fantasy leagues.
Leon was an emergency acquisition late in spring training when the Red Sox learned of Christian Vazquez’s need for Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Leon paired with Ryan Hanigan in a catcher combination that was not expected to do much at the plate, but could handle the staff until Blake Swihart was ready. When Hanigan went down in May with a broken knuckle, the Red Sox chose to promote Swihart to be their starting catcher, keeping Leon in a backup role. He eventually emerged as the go-to catcher for Clay Buchholz. Leon hit .184/.238/.202 with two extra-base hits and three RBI in 128 plate appearances (41 games). The Red Sox signed him to a major-league contract this offseason and then outrighted him to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he’s expected to start the season and serve as organizational depth should injuries hit Swihart or Vazquez.
Back in 2012, Leon seemed like he might have a future behind the plate. He hit better than .300 across three minor league levels and didn't look out of place during a big league callup. Given Wilson Ramos' inability to stay healthy, the door was open for him to establish himself as Ramos' top backup and a potential Francisco Cervelli-like modest fantasy asset. Two years later though, following a .177 showing at Double-A and .229 performance at Triple-A, Leon's status has dropped to that of pure organizational depth, a guy you call up when you have no other options. He's got a decent defensive reputation, but unless Leon finds those base hits he lost after 2012, that status isn't going to change.
Entering 2012, Leon figured to be a future backup, a catcher with solid defensive skills but not much of a stick, but after hitting .322 across three minor league levels he might have changed that perception. With Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki ahead of him on the depth chart he will likely get a full season at Triple-A to prove that performance was not a fluke.
More Fantasy News
Gets start in series finale
CBoston Red Sox
August 18, 2019
Leon will start at catcher and bat eighth Sunday against the Orioles, Christopher Smith of The Springfield Republican reports.
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Homers in win
CBoston Red Sox
July 25, 2019
Leon launched a two-run home run his only at-bat during Thursday's victory over the Yankees.
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Pinch-hit homer
CBoston Red Sox
July 20, 2019
Leon went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit home run Saturday against the Orioles.
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Back on bench
CBoston Red Sox
July 7, 2019
Leon is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Tigers.
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Third start in four games
CBoston Red Sox
June 9, 2019
Leon will start at catcher and bat eighth Sunday against the Rays, Bill Koch of The Providence Journal reports.
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