|Profile: There were a couple of THT Annuals where we did player case studies. If we had done that for the 2017 book, Sandy Leon would have been one of the contenders to get the in-depth treatment, for his 2016 season was mildly fascinating. Heading into the 2016 campaign, he had a grand total of six extra-base hits on his resume, across parts of three major league seasons (technically four, but he only got one plate appearance in the fourth). Then he proceeded to knock out 26 extra-base hits in 2016, when he hit .310/.369/.476. I know you can read that below, but typing it here makes it less likely to vanish from the page, because it still seems incredible that it happened. When Leon played for the Sox in 2015, he posted a 13 wRC+. That's 87% less productive than the league-adjusted average. In 2016, he posted a 123 wRC+. The list of players who improved their wRC+ by more than 100 points in one season has to be small. Such a jump should make you skeptical, and you'd be right to trust that instinct. Leon probably won't be as good in 2017. He fell off pretty hard in September, when he hit just .213/.286/.253. Further complicating things is the fact that the team still hasn't cut bait on Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez, and impressive spring trainings could see either or both of them eventually cut into Leon's playing time. So, you shouldn't target Leon in the upper tier of catchers in your draft, but he's a decent fallback plan if you can't get the guys you really want.|
The Quick Opinion: The 2016 season was shaping up to be one of the worst in Red Sox history for catchers. Then Sandy Leon happened, and all of a sudden it turned out to be an average season for Boston catchers. Don't expect Leon to duplicate his incredible 2016 run — the cracks were already showing by the end of the season — but he should still be serviceable.