DOMINIC LEONE, RHP ... ONE-STOP SHOPPING
2013 Age: 21 ... 5-foot-11, 195 ... drafted in the 16th round of the 2012 draft out of Clemson
Cheesy MarinersTalk.com catchphrase: Dominant Dominic!
Baseball-Reference.com Stat Line:
Key 2012 splits imported from MinorLeagueCentral.com:
More explanation of the stats here. If you find this too small, at least in Firefox you can right-click and click "View Image" to enlarge (not sure about other browsers). Essentially, the more color the better.
Fun Facts to Know and Tell:
- The top player out of Clemson in MLB history appears to be '80s lefty Jimmy Key.
- Leone and Brad Miller played together at Clemson in 2010 and 2011.
- Fellow farmhand D.J. Mitchell, who came over in the Ichiro trade, also is a former Tiger, but he did not overlap with Leone and Miller.
Three Numbers (confused? help here): Command/Control: 102 "Stuff": 143 Composite: 145
Yes, this one is a bit of a "stretch."
Yes, it violates the principle of not giving too much weight to college pitchers in the low minors.
But sometimes you gotta go out on a limb, and, if Leone really has become virtually unhittable, why end up on the wrong side of history?
Sure he had 10.6 K/9, but that's not what this is about. It's about this:
He gave up only 20 hits in 33.0 innings. That's 5.5 H/9.
And only three of those hits went for extra bases ... and they were all doubles.
So that works out to a .177 BA-against and a .204 SLG-against. Do the math and that's a virtually invisible .027 ISO-against.
In other words, pretty much the only way to get on base against Leone was to walk. And, OK, there were plenty of those (5.2 BB/9). But they don't hurt much when absolutely no one is getting good wood on the ball. "Virtually unhittable."
The story is that he's doing all this with a cut fastball that he decided to pick up after watching highlights on YouTube (behold the power of the Internet). With the new pitch he transformed himself from average college starter to monster pro reliever and Mariano Rivera wannabe. Yes, it's only 33 innings, but it's 33 innings of Not. Letting. ANYone. Hit. The Ball. Hard. Period.
Final note: I don't trust a lot of the splits from the low-minors parks at all, but zero line drives in July (55 batters faced)? That's at least interesting to think about.
[Why Leone and not Matt Brazis? In retrospect, that's an excellent question. I think I was chicken about Brazis due him being older and having fewer innings and more rookie-level stats (and I wasn't fully aware of how much injuries had affected Brazis' college career). But if they both want to remain "unhittable" that's cool with me (and they can both shoot up the ladder) .]
The spelling doesn't quite match, but let's go with this: