Originally written 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

Report: Martavis Bryant suspended four games for violating substance abuse policy

Phillies have finally escaped from payroll hell

Report: Paul Petrino took care of players' shoplifting incident

Joe Theismann on RG3: ‘It’s time for Robert to be quiet’

Rex Ryan will start E.J. Manuel in Bills’ third preseason game

Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal dish about old Lakers feud

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jones was worried about Bryant over alleged Walmart tape

David Ortiz: 'It sucks' Hanley Ramirez has been criticized

49ers make mockery of ‘winning with class’ in handling Brooks

Vernon Adams is the best option for Oregon football

DeVante Parker will be worth the wait for Dolphins

Mike Richards faces possession of controlled substance charge

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 greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Wilson’s ‘Recovery Water’ plug sends the wrong message

The 12 most relevant teams in CFB

PAC-12 preview: Can dark horse ASU take on USC?

Five stories to watch in the Metropolitan Division

Five greatest NBA non-title teams

Gus Johnson wanted to name daughter after Schembechler

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