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Jose De Leon Makes Big League Debut

Jose De Leon Tony via


Jose De Leon

Prospect Jose De Leon makes MLB debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect Jose De Leon made his major league debut on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. With the start, De Leon became the 15th different starting pitcher to be used by the Dodgers this season.

De Leon did not disappoint in his first big league start. He pitched a solid six innings while giving up four runs and striking out nine while issuing zero walks. Those nine strikeouts rank as the third most by a major league pitcher during his debut without issuing a walk since 1913. He also fell one “K” short of tying the Dodgers record for most strikeouts in a major league debut. Both Kazuhisa Ishii (2002) and Pedro Astacio (1992) struck out ten in their debuts.

The young right-hander was drafted in the 24th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Dodgers. In his time with the Ogden Raptors, De Leon recorded a 2.65 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. That performance earned De Leon a promotion to low-A Great Lakes where he would make four starts to finish the season. In those starts, De Leon posted a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings. His performance earned him Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year honors and a promotion to high-A to start the next season.

At high-A, De Leon posted a 4-1 record with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts. Once again, De Leon earned a promotion; this time it was to the AA Tulsa Drillers. This is where De Leon would start to struggle a little. With AA Tulsa, he posted a 2-6 record with a 3.64 ERA which was good enough to earn him an invitation to spring training with the Dodgers. De Leon did not make the roster but instead started the 2016 season with AAA Oklahoma City. Before making his big league debut, De Leon worked to a 7-1 record, 3.02 ERA and 111 strikeouts. The most impressive statistic is the fact that De Leon only walked 20 batters compared to his 111 “K’s”.

De Leon had this to say about his major league debut:

“There’s no word to describe that. It was amazing to be here for the first time.”

Catcher Austin Barnes has caught De Leon in the minors and had this to say about his debut:

“He’s going to be good for a long time. I didn’t notice any difference from down there (minor leagues) to here. His composure was the same, his tempo was the same.”

If De Leon can continue to pound the strike zone and work hard at his craft, he has the making to become a big-time major league pitcher at some point in the future.

With all the injuries to the Dodgers starting rotation, fans may not have seen the last of De Leon as he may be asked to make another start later this month.