Red Sox Sandy Leon: Potential Top-10 Catcher in 2017

Red Sox have a potential star catcher in the making. Sandy Leon had a second half of the season. If he plays a full season, he is a top-10 candidate.

The Boston Red Sox offense won’t be the same with the absence of David Ortiz. Yet, there are plenty of pieces on the team to carry the load. Along with the young outfielders, one sleeper on the Red Sox is catcher Sandy Leon. He has the potential to be a top-10 catcher.

The Red Sox purchased Leon from the Washington Nationals before the beginning of the 2016 season. He didn’t contribute much in his first season with the team, 41 games and a .184 average.

The team started with Blake Swihart at catcher, but he was injured six games into the season and didn’t reappear until May 20 as the left fielder for just 13 games. Boston then went with a platoon of Ryan Hanigan and Christian Vazquez. That was until Leon got the call on June 7.

Leon played in 78 games and hit very well. He posted a .310/.369/.476 line with seven home runs, 35 RBI and 36 runs scored.

In fantasy, he finished as the No. 16 catcher on the Player Rater. For someone who played less than half a season, finishing in the top 20 is not bad.

The Red Sox activated Swihart from the 60-day DL on Nov. 3. While he is expected to be ready by the time pitchers and catchers report, it is unsure what his role will be. The uncertainty lies upon the success Leon had in the role in the second half.

Swihart may platoon in left field with Andrew Benintendi, but Leon looks to have the catcher job all but locked up. The 27-year-old spent most of his at bats hitting in the bottom half of the lineup. That does affect his value a bit, limiting his at bats, but it can also help by driving in the batters in front of him.

With Swihart likely out of the picture, Leon is set up for success. The Red Sox lineup, for now, remains mostly the same. With a full season coming up, I project Leon hitting .280 with 12 home runs, 55 RBI and 60 runs scored.

The catcher position is a little deeper than years’ past, but some of the others that finished in the top 10 can easily fall out of it. Leon is worth drafting in two-catcher or AL-only leagues.