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
$Signed a one-year, $2.48 million contract with the Red Sox in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Homers Friday
CBoston Red Sox
March 2, 2019
Leon went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer in Friday's game against the Twins.
Leon is in a three-way battle for two spots on Boston's roster. Christian Vazquez is expected to be the starting catcher, leaving Leon and Blake Swihart vying for the backup job. The Red Sox have stated they are looking to trade one of their backstops, and the recent injury to Kansas City's Salvador Perez (elbow) could trigger talks between the two teams.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .748 244 33 7 39 0 .255 .337 .410
Since 2016vs Right .633 628 65 12 57 1 .229 .280 .352
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
2016vs Left 1.062 81 12 4 17 0 .373 .450 .612
2016vs Right .764 202 24 3 18 0 .286 .337 .427
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .685 423 50 7 46 1 .248 .298 .388
Since 2016Away .644 449 48 12 50 0 .224 .295 .349
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
2016Home .866 137 19 2 13 0 .325 .378 .488
2016Away .826 146 17 5 22 0 .295 .361 .465
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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.
BB 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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Red Sox Depth Chart
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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
Comes to terms
CBoston Red Sox
January 11, 2019
Leon signed a one-year, $2.475 million deal with the Red Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
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Takes seat Wednesday
CBoston Red Sox
October 17, 2018
Leon is out of the starting lineup for Game 4 of the ALCS against the Astros on Wednesday, Christopher Smith of reports.
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Hits bench for Game 3
CBoston Red Sox
October 16, 2018
Leon is not in the lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros on Tuesday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
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Back on bench Tuesday
CBoston Red Sox
September 18, 2018
Leon remains on the bench Tuesday against the Yankees, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
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Not starting Sunday
CBoston Red Sox
September 16, 2018
Leon is not in the lineup Sunday against the Mets.
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