Position: Shortstop/Second Baseman
Date of Birth: 9/11/1995 (2014 Opening Day Age: 18)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2012
Ranking History: #91 (2013), #34 (2014)
Background: One of the Tigers most significant signings during the 2012 international signing period, the club gave Leyba $400,000 and sent him to the Dominican Summer League in 2013 for his professional debut. Leyba surpassed all expectations during his debut season, hitting .348 with 28 extra-base hits and more walks than strikeouts.
|2013 Stats - Hitting|
Body: Solid athlete; smaller frame; good strength; some reports from scouts indicate he may have grown some since signing and listed height/weight might be a little light; likely reaching physical maturity and won't project to gain much more.
Hit: Easy contact; swing is smooth and compact from both sides; drives the ball with more authority as LHH; advanced knowledge of strike zone; still developing pitch recognition skills; potential to command strike zone and control at-bats; will work deep counts; above-average plate coverage that could improve with more experience; works ball from line to line; hard line drives to the gaps; quality hitter with plus projection because of approach, instincts and natural bat-to-ball ability. Grade – Present 4/Future 6
Power: Line drive pop; not a classic power stroke and doesn't have physical/strength projection to suggest significant power profile; gap power will result in plenty of doubles; home run power to max out in 8-10 range; power won't play to significant level but he won't be without pop either; needs to add more strength and learn to turn on the ball at times; most power will manifest as LHH. Grade – 3/4
Speed: Average runner down the line; has instincts for the game but struggles with jumps on steals; once instincts translate to base stealing he could swipe 10-15 bases annually; aggressive base runner; can take extra bags; reads the ball and defenders well to get good jumps when running the bases; overall average run projection with athleticism maintaining speed over long haul. Grade – 5/5
Defense: Solid all-around defender; good reads off the bat; moves well to both sides; has grace in the field; hands work well; footwork is solid; range is limited by average speed; range may be thin for shortstop; projects as above-average defender at second base; fringe-average defender at shortstop; overall defensive package could play at either position depending on need; tools are more attractive at SS. Grade – 4/5+ (at 2B)
Arm: Just enough arm for left side; average arm strength plays better at 2B; has enough strength for DP pivot; quick release can help raw strength play up; plays average overall. Grade – 5/5
Other: Very instinctual player; performer; potential to do all the little things; continued development of instincts will help solid tools play up; high effort player; grinder.
Summary: Middle infield profile; Tools are solid across the board; hit tool leads the parade; hit projection is easy with simple swing from both sides; potential .290+ hitter; pop won't be big but should have tons of doubles; speed, glove and arm all play in average range; likely fits best at 2B but could hang at SS if given the chance; total profile is more than the individual parts.
Risk: Extreme risk; multiple grade jump required on best tool; hit tool will have to lead the way; no stateside resume; long developmental path ahead.
Projection: Like projection at 2B quite a bit more than SS, but he should get a chance to stay on the left side; solid regular ceiling at 2B; will make stateside debut in 2014; ETA is a long way off, possibly beyond 2017.
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