Tigers Scouting Report #34: Domingo Leyba

The Tigers have invested heavily in middle infielders out of Latin America in recent years, and have started to see that pay off with Hernan Perez emerging at the big league level, and players like Eugenio Suarez and Harold Castro impressing on the farm. Is Domingo Leyba the next to make noise stateside after a very impressive showing in the DSL?

Domingo Leyba

Vitals

Position: Shortstop/Second Baseman
Date of Birth: 9/11/1995 (2014 Opening Day Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 5-11/160
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
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.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
DSL 20151701585363426168.348.446.577


Scouting Report

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.

Final Word

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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