Many of you reading this article may think to yourself; Who on god’s green earth is Sandy Leon? The better question is why do people still try to act like they can predict every tiny detail that goes on in the sport of baseball? Weird things happen in baseball that simply do not occur in other sports. In a two part segment I will break down the mysterious case Sandy Leon and why baseball simply can’t be predicted.
The Boston Red Sox first acquired switch hitting catcher Sandy Leon due to an injury to Christian Vazquez back in spring training in 2015. Vazquez was and still is considered the future at catcher for the Boston Red Sox. Once he required Tommy John surgery the next coming of Yadier Molina was going to have to sit out the entire season. That is where Leon came into play.
Sandy Leon was traded for cash considerations as the Washington Nationals would have likely kicked him off the 40 man roster anyway. Now of course the Red Sox thinking was that he is a superior defensive catcher, whatever he hits is considered gravy. In 2015 Leon appeared in 41 games compiling a batting average of .184. To make matters worse he wasn’t walking either having an OBP of .231. With limited options the Red Sox had to promote Blake Swihart far to early. (For those who don’t Swihart is a defensive nightmare and has been moved to left field). Leon’s major league career seemed to be just about over.
When the 2016 came calling the Red Sox had plenty of options at catcher including Ryan Hanigan, Blake Swihart, and a now healthy Christian Vazquez. Forget about the big league team Sandy Leon was now in a full scale competition for AAA at bats with Dan Butler, Ali Solis, and a rehabbing Vazquez. During 36 games in AAA Leon hit a lack luster .243 with no sight on a promotion to the big league’s. The injury bug would soon hit the Red Sox quickly changing Leon’s fortune’s. First Swihart was sent down and converted to a left fielder after his horrific defense behind the plate. Then back up Ryan Hanigan got hurt as well as Swihart leaving out the possibility of converting back to catcher. It was Sandy Leon’s time to shine.
Since being called up to the big league’s Leon has hit .500 in 40 at bats! Yes he is hitting .500 a mark that in almost unheard of over the course at 40 at bats. To make matters more interesting it is a guy who was hitting under .250 just weeks ago in the minors. Sure it is only 15 games but it goes to show how unpredictable baseball game be at times. While no set of analytics could have possibly predicted to Sandy Leon experience. For now Leon is here to stay in Boston, it is a matter of can he maintain this success?
As for Baseball it goes to show that it is a sport no one can predict. The sports has examples such as Sandy Leon every single season. If there is a pattern I have noticed in the past is that past performance often times means nothing outside of the stars. Having the unsung heroes such as Leon can often times spark playoff runs. Dear baseball writers stop acting like you know everything you’re always wrong. As for the Red Sox are concerned their future looks awfully bright with Xander Bogaerts and the rest of their young guys.