The Dodgers signed Eddys Leonard as an International Free Agent in July of 2017. He’s been one of those players that have not been noticed by the prospect ranking types but in 2021, Eddys made us take notice. He went from a slash of .285/.379/.425 (AVG/OBB/SLG) in 2019 in just at-bats to .296/.390/.539 in 2021 in 425 at-bats. Now, the Dodgers have put him on the 40-man roster for the 2022 season and everyone is taking notice.
A Quick Interview
Eddys Leonard was gracious enough to grant us a quick interview. You’ll see the questions and answers in both English and Spanish. The translation is courtesy of Google Translate.
TR – Congratulations on a great 2021.
TR – Felicitaciones por un gran 2021.
TR – Tell us a little about growing up in the Dominican Republic. Who was your favorite player?
TR – ¿Quién fue tu jugador favorito?
EL – Mi jugador favorito es Xander bogarts
EL – My favorite player is Xander Bogaerts
TR – You signed with the Dodgers at the age of 16. What year did you come to the United States?
TR – Firmó con los Dodgers a la edad de 16 años. ¿En qué año llegó a los Estados Unidos?
EL – Llegue a Estados Unidos en el 2019
EL – I arrived in the US in 2019.
TR – You made excellent progress between 2019 and 2021. What did you do to make such great progress?
TR – Hiciste un excelente progreso entre 2019 y 2021. ¿Qué hiciste para lograr un progreso tan grande?
EL – Trabajar duro cada día
EL – I worked hard every day.
TR – You started to play some more 3B and even a little outfield. How did you like playing those positions? Were you happy with your performance at those positions?
TR – Empezaste a jugar un poco más de 3B e incluso un poco en los jardines. ¿Cómo te gustó jugar esas posiciones? ¿Estaba satisfecho con su desempeño en esos puestos?
EL – Si me sentí muy bn jugando todas las posiciones
EL – I felt very good at all the positions.
TR – Are there some skills you want improve on for 2022?
TR – ¿Hay algunas habilidades que quieras mejorar para 2022?
EL – Mejorar en los pequeños detalles
EL – Improve on the small details
TR – What did you enjoy about the cities you played in (Rancho Cucamonga, Great Lakes) in 2021?
TR – ¿Qué te gustó de las ciudades en las que tocaste (Rancho Cucamonga, Great Lakes) en 2021?
EL – Me parecieron muy bonitas y las personas son muy amables
EL – I found them very beautiful and the people are very kind
TR – One more question, what is your favorite restaurant in the US?
TR – Una pregunta más, ¿cuál es tu restaurante favorito en Estados Unidos?
EL – Chipotle
Some Notable Information From Baseball America
Getting An Opportunity
“He’s always been naturally mechanically sound,” Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes said. “I think over the last few years he really developed physically . . . And honestly, I think it was just about getting an opportunity.”
That opportunity came in mid-May. Leonard started the year sharing playing time at shortstop for the Quakes with Alex De Jesus. But De Jesus suffered an injury to his left shoulder and Leonard became the primary shortstop.
Power And Versatility
The power was a new arrival for Leonard, who hit just four homers in each of his previous two pro seasons.
Leonard had played the outfield before signing for $200,000 in July 2017 from the Dominican Republic. He has been primarily a shortstop since turning pro, but in 2021 he also played center field, second base and third base.
Third baseman Eddys Leonard was busy in the Quakes' 9½-8½ ten-inning win on Sunday. Many flawless plays in the field including two double plays, a base hit, and a bases-loaded walk. @RCQuakes pic.twitter.com/8W9MqG7241
— Low and outside (@low_and_outside) July 13, 2021
“His versatility is real,” Rhymes said. “He has value on both sides of the ball. He’s the Dodger kind of player. It was a really exciting year.”
Eddys Leonard is something else. What a drive. pic.twitter.com/vtZRqylXkz
— Justin L. (@JL_Baseball) September 8, 2021
What Might The Future Might Look Like
I was able to see Eddys Leonard play a few games for the Quakes. In terms of his versatility, he reminds me of Kiké Hernandez, the former super-utility player for the Dodgers. What might make Leonard an overall better player is that he might be more consistent with the bat. Kiké was always excellent on defense but very hot and cold at the plate, which kept him from holding down a position with the Dodgers. His skills were greatly missed in 2021. As the pitching gets tougher as he moves up we’ll find out more about his bat. I can see him being a key player for the Dodgers in less than two seasons. The future looks bright for Eddys Leonard.