The BoSox Injection team is grading the performances from every player of the 2018 Boston Red Sox. Next up is starting catcher Sandy Leon.
Sandy Leon is a switch-hitter for the Boston Red Sox, allowing manager Alex Cora to use him no matter which way the starting pitcher throws. This is a valuable weapon to have. His batting average was only .177, with 47 hits in 265 at-bats. He did hit five home runs and accounted for 22 runs batted in. Now, for only having 265 at-bats, that isn’t quite that bad.
Leon played in 89 games compared to the 85 he played in 2017 yet had 14 fewer at-bats than he did last year while sharing the catcher position with Christian Vazquez. He owned a .232 on-base percentage, his lowest since joining the Red Sox in 2015. At least Leon set a new career-high with one stolen base. Now, considering the position he plays, stolen bases are not something many catchers achieve. These are the guys that can turn over lineups and get them back to the guys who get paid to knock in runs and steal bases.
He allowed the second-most passed balls among major league catchers with 13. Leon also had the league’s second-highest fielding percentage at .999. This made him a staple behind the plate. and made it hard for teams to get what they call free runs. The Red Sox opponents had to earn their runs. A defense, as they say, is what wins championships.
Leon appeared in all three of the series. He played in two games against the Yankees in the ALDS, going without a hit in five tries. The next series was the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Leon was once again without a hit in five games. His hits came in the World Series, where he went 3-for-6 for a .500 average.
Leon has been good with the pitching staff since coming to Boston. If he could somehow find his bat as he did in 2017 it would be good.
Looking ahead to 2019
Leon is Boston’s best defensive catcher since Jason Varitek, who was one of the best. Look for the Red Sox to hold to Leon and Vasquez for a while.
Leon has been great defensively. He doesn’t allow too many passed balls and he has a good ability to throw out runners. Leon is one of the many who helped the Red Sox win the World Series.