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Eddys Leonard Rides Breakout Season To 40-Man Roster

November was a good month for Eddys Leonard.

The Dodgers added the 21-year-old shortstop to their 40-man roster at the Nov. 19 reserve roster deadline, thus exempting him from the Rule 5 draft. Los Angeles also added second baseman Jorbit Vivas to the roster.

Both Leonard and Vivas spent most of the season with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga before earning promotions to High-A Great Lakes.

For the 6-foot, 160-pound Leonard, the move is a reward after a breakout season in which he hit .296/.390/.539 with 22 home runs and nine stolen bases in 107 games.

"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.

After starting the season 6-for-30 (.200) with two extra-base hits, Leonard hit .307 over the next 60 games with 18 doubles, two triples and 13 homers before earning an August promotion to Great Lakes, where he hit .299 and 20 extra-base hits in 41 games.

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.

"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."


— Along with Leonard and Vivas, the Dodgers also added righthander Michael Grove, outfielder James Outman and shortstop Jacob Amaya to the 40-man roster before the November deadline to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. The 68th player taken overall, Grove was the highest Dodgers pick to sign out of the 2018 draft after first-rounder J.T. Ginn did not sign and went to college. Grove had Tommy John surgery in his final year of college.

— Outfielders Billy McKinney and Zach Reks were designated for assignment as part of the November roster maneuvers and then sold to the Rangers. They follow a well-worn path in going from the Dodgers to the Rangers. Rangers manager Chris Woodward, recently hired hitting coach Tim Hyers and catching coach Bobby Wilson all spent time in the Dodgers organization. And former Dodgers Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy, DJ Peters, Josh Sborz and Dennis Santana all played for the Rangers in 2021.

Juan Yepez Billmitchell

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