I think this is going to be my last rookie outlook post. If someone pops up sometime in the preseason, maybe I’ll return, but I need to move onto sleepers, and Winter Meetings updates. Here’s what I said when Jose De Leon first came up, “There’s gonna be a lot of haters out there about Jose De Leon. It’s the times we live in. His great-great-great-great grandfather was the original body-shamer. Ponce De Leon set out about five hundred and fifty years ago looking for the Fountain of Youth because, his words, “My old bitty needs to go bye-bye if she continues to sag in the FUPA area.” He was also the originator of the common 1500s phrase, “Ponce upon a time you looked good, girl.” A phrase that has rightfully disappeared from common speech before any more women were hurt by vernacular manslaughter, so to speak. As for Jose De Leon, he’s got the youth thing for days, but he’s not quite as young as Julio Urias, which I’m gonna say is a good thing in this case, because Urias is so raw he may as well be carrying botulism. De Leon, 23 years old, is destroying Triple-A on the current — 13.8 K/9, 3.06 ERA — which is more or less same-same what he’s been doing for the last two years. Even more importantly, the Dodgers have an immediate need with their rotation a M.A.S.H. unit, a Jamie-Farr-kin joke.” And that’s me quoting me! De Leon ended up with a 11.6 K/9 and a 2.61 in 86 1/3 IP in Triple-A. There’s nowhere else for De Leon to go but the majors in 2017, so let’s segue this sucka. Anyway, what can we expect from Jose De Leon for 2017 fantasy baseball?
First off, De Leon will either be in the rotation from the jump in April or he will be the first one up after an injury, either way, he should get 140 IP in the majors. He can’t safely throw many more than that anyway, so if he gets cut from the team at the end of March or comes up in May it’s all relatively the same. Trades and injuries can happen on the reg, but right now De Leon is better than at least two of the Dodgers starters (McCarthy and Kazmir). Him or Urias could be a toss up for 2017, but Urias’ stuff is better. Urias can be a number one, De Leon looks like a number two. A number two in LA is usually an air turd and smells like kale chips. A number two as far as baseball is concerned in LA is still a potential top 30 starter for all of fantasy. Hello, vs. the Padres. Hey, what’s up, Rockies on the road? Yo, what’s up actually every team on the road in the NL West? Rockies, Padres, Arizona were all in the bottom third for road offense, and the Giants missed that cutoff by two (i.e., they were 18th in the majors for road offense). The park is good, the Dodgers are one of the better offensive teams, yadda3. De Leon is in a good place to succeed. In Triple-A, De Leon had the best K-BB%. Better than Jameson Taillon, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Alex Reyes, you name ’em. If you can only have one stat for pitchers, K-BB% is about the best you can do to give you an idea of how good a pitcher will be. You throw a lot of strikes and not a lot of balls? That’s a great sign. Of course, there’s guys like Tomlin who don’t walk anyone and don’t strike out many either, but that’s not De Leon. When you throw strikes and strikeout guys, it takes a lot to allow runs. His one big drawback, and the one big drawback that can happen to guys who throw strikes, is he gives up homers. In 17 IP with the Dodgers last year, he gave up five homers. Um, poo. Yeah, that’s awful, but as previously stated on the aforementioned tip, Dodger Stadium can help a bit with homers. For 2017, I’ll project De Leon for 9-4/3.57/1.18/128 in 135 IP, which is a decent backend flyer in all leagues.