Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/14/12

With the loss of yet another baseball player to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) comes a fresh opportunity for a young, inexperienced prospect. The Washington Nationals organization has replaced starting catcher Wilson Ramos with part-timer Jesus Flores and called up rookie Sandy Leon to serve as the new backup.

Leon is known as a glove-first catcher but his bat began to show signs of improvement at high-A ball in 2011 and that continued over into 2012 with his assignment to double-A. At the time of his promotion Leon was hitting .319/.356/.457 in 27 games. Despite his improvements with the stick he’s not as good as those numbers suggest, though, and the 130 wRC+ is the result of a small sample size. He posted a wRC+ of 89 in 2011. Leon is a switch-hitter and he offers more potential while swinging from the left side.

There is not much that Leon, 23, doesn’t do on defense. He is a great receiver, he calls a solid game and he isn’t afraid to get down and block pitches. The young catcher has an average arm in terms of strength but it’s accurate and he does a nice job of controlling the running game. With one of the strongest pitching staffs in baseball, Leon is exactly what the club needs in a backup catcher and he’s an excellent complement to Flores.

Leon signed with Washington out of Venezuala in 2007. He was actually scouted by two very savvy baseball minds in now-GM Mike Rizzo and Dana Brown, who is currently Special Assistant to the GM in Toronto. Although he will likely never be an impact player with the bat, Leon has a chance to be a valuable bench player for the Washington Nationals.

Sandy Leon isn’t the only intriguing catching prospect in the Nationals system, even after the off-season trade of Derek Norris, which helped the club acquire left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez. David Freitas, currently playing in high-A ball, is more of an offensive-minded catcher than Leon but he can hold his own on defense and should eventually become an average big league backstop. On offense he shows a good eye, can hit for a decent average and has good gap power. Freitas, 23, is currently hitting .300/.390/.478 in 25 games. He was originally a 15th round draft pick out of the University of Hawaii in 2010.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin in war of words over 'disrespect'

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker