Earlier today, the author published a pair of leaderboards featuring the top regressed hitting and pitching performances of the four Caribbean winter leagues. Among the other revelations present in that post was one on the topic of right-handed Dodgers prospect Jose De Leon, a pitcher who (a) was drafted in just the 24th round a couple years ago but features (b) above-average velocity and (c) something better than above-average strikeout rates over two years of affiliated baseball.
Since publishing the aforementioned post, I’ve completed three essential tasks — which is to say, I’ve bathed my adorable small terrier dog and then driven to a well-appointed hotel in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire and then, finally, watched every single pitch of Jose De Leon’s last start of the season from this past August 29th against Cleveland’s Midwest League affiliate Lake County (box).
Were I asked, I’d say the following about De Leon’s repertoire: that he possesses probably a 60 or 65 fastball (on the 20-80 scouting scale), flashes a 60 changeup, and maybe a 50 or 55 slider — although the latter two pitches grade out as a 50 and 40, respectively, at the moment.
This is, of course, only if I were asked to supply such grades. Because I haven’t been, I’ll continue on to a matter much more suited to my skill set — namely, the manufacture and publication of animated GIFs.
What I would like to do is publish here three pitches of some note from De Leon’s last start of the season. What I will do is the same thing.
1. A changeup to Ivan Castillo for a third strike, looking.
2. And a slow-motion version of that same thing.
3. A slider to fifth-overall draft pick Clint Frazier.
4. And a slow-motion version of that same pitch.
5. And, finally, also a changeup for a strikeout to Frazier.
6. And a slow-motion version of it, too.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.