Jose De Leon finally gets his shot

No one thought back in March that the Dodgers number two pitching prospect Jose De Leon would be finally making his first major league start, long after Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and Brock Stewart had made their’s, but his day has finally come.

De Leon has done everything he could do to get this opportunity with perhaps the biggest obstacle simply being too many good players on the Dodgers 40 man roster.

Fantastic indeed. In his 16 starts with the OKC Dodgers De Leon posted a 7-1 record and outstanding 2.61 ERA. But what stands out most about the 24-year-old Isabel, Puerto Rico native are his strikeouts. In his 86.1 innings of work the hard-throwing right-hander struck out 111 while walking only 20 for a Kershaw-like K/BB ratio of 5.55. He also struck out 10 or more batters in five of his 16 starts, including 13 punch outs in his last outing on August 28 against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers). The extremely polite and soft-spoken right-hander also owns an alien-like WHIP of 0.94.

As Eric Stephen noted having four rookies making their debut in the same season is new territory for the LAD.  It is officially five with Kenta Maeda but come on, no one really thinks of him as a rookie except the arcane major league baseball rookie rules.

No Dodgers team has had more than two such debuts since World War II, when the 1944 Brooklyn club saw starters Ben Chapman, Frank Wurm and John Wells make their debuts.

Including Maeda what is great to me about these five rookies is that all of them might have a real future in major league baseball. Julio Urias has the all the making of a future ace, Kenta has shown to be a fine number two, De Leon could be a number three, and Stripling / Stewart could easily round out the back end of any rotation.

It is simply the greatest collection of young arms on the Dodger roster in my memory. To jog my memory I’m going to have to do a series on rookie arms just to see how good/bad my memory is. Luckily I have the whole off-season to check it out.

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