- Full name Julian Francisco Leon
- Born 01/24/1996 in Hermosillo, SON, Mexico
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
After signing with the Dodgers along with lefthander Julio Urias in a package deal from Mexico City in 2012, Leon became a prospect on the rise after the 2014 season, when he demolished the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Leon appeared on the verge of a potential breakout season, but instead he fell completely flat in 2015, one of the bigger surprises and disappointments in the system. Leon got off to a poor start and it snowballed from there. The adjustments he tried to make to get things to click again at the plate didn't help, and Leon got away from what made him successful the year before, chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone and not managing his at-bats as well as he had before. Leon has strong hands and wrists with average raw power, but he didn't hit enough for the power to show up in games in 2015. He has a plus arm, threw out 24 percent of runners and made progress with his defense, which had been a liability before, though he still needs to polish his blocking. Given all the responsibilities a young catcher has to handle, it's not unreasonable to think Leon could bounce back in 2016, likely with a repeat of the low Class A Midwest League.
Julio Urias was the organization's top signing out of Mexico after the 2012 international signing period opened. Now Leon, who like Urias signed that summer as a 16-year-old from Mexico City of the Mexican League, has emerged as a legitimate prospect himself. He has a thick, squatty build and is an offensiveoriented catcher. He swing stays short, with strong hands and wrists that help him generate average raw power. There's some swing-and-miss to his game, but it's not excessive, and he's not a free-swinger, showing patience to draw walks. While scouts liked Leon's offensive game, he has work to do behind the plate. He has a plus arm and led the Rookie-level Pioneer League by throwing out 30 percent of basestealers, but he needs to speed up his transfer. Leon should stick behind the plate, but his receiving, blocking and footwork need to improve. He's ready for his first full-season trial at low Class A Great Lakes in 2015.
Minor League Top Prospects
The Dodgers struck paydirt in Mexico during the summer of 2012, signing Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig from a tryout in the country and also finding lefthander Julio Urias. While not as notable as those two, Leon may give the Dodgers another gem after being signed by Mike Brito, the scout who signed Fernando Valenzuela. Leon flashed potential in his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2013 and took a step forward at Ogden. PL managers considered him a legitimate hitter with strong hands who stays inside the ball, gets a lot of two-strike hits and possesses opposite-field power, though he gets pull-happy at times. Leon may wind up being a bat-first catcher, but with the potential to at least be a competent receiver. He has a plus arm that plays down because of a slow release, and needs to improve his mechanics and footwork behind the plate. "He's grown this year," Ogden manager Jack McDowell said. "He's learned not to take at-bats out there, and what an important position it is."