2019 Reds,  by Steve Mancuso

Reds acquire pitcher Jose De Leon from Tampa Bay

Jose De Leon is a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher. He was acquired by the Dodgers in 2013 and rocketed through their system, making his debut in 2016, when he made 4 starts. De Leon rose to being ranked the #3 prospect in the Dodgers system in 2016 and 2017 and a top-30 prospect in MLB.

The following offseason he was traded to the Rays. He spent 2017 with arm soreness, making only 8 starts in various stops in the Rays farm system. He missed all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.

In 2019, De Leon returned to the mound in 2019, pitching in 17 games (13 starts) for the Rays AAA team. De Leon has been known as a strikeout pitcher. He fanned 73 batters in 2018 in 51.1 IP. He was expected to be in the mix to pitch for the Rays in 2020, if he remained healthy, although the Rays faced a bit of a roster squeeze today.

Baseball Savant says this about where De Leon stands right now:

“De Leon has a strong track record as a strike-thrower, though it likely will take him some time to regain the control and command he had before his myriad injuries. He still has the upside of a big league starter, at this point likely a No. 4 or No. 5, though he’ll need to stay healthy in order to achieve such potential.”

We’ll see what the Reds pitching coaches can do with De Leon.

De Leon fills up the Reds 40-man roster. Earlier in the day, they added Tyler Stephenson (C), Tony Santillan (RHP), Ryan Hendrix and Tejay Antone to the roster, protecting them from the upcoming Rule 5 draft.

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce and Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

One Comment

  • Jefferson Green

    This feels like a good value move that tends to fly under the radar, but could pay off nicely. If not, not much lost. I’m hoping that it is a move that reinforces the sense that this FO is making wiser choices than previous. Any insight or comments on the lack of adding Friedl to the 40 man, or perhaps the continued inclusion of Schebler?