Dodgers News: Jose De Leon Ranked No. 8 Right-Handed Pitching Prospect By MLB Pipeline
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few years the Los Angeles Dodgers have assembled a deep group of pitching prospects. It was headlined by Jose De Leon and Julio Urias, both of whom made their respective MLB debuts last season, and included a surprise in Brock Stewart.

Los Angeles also boasts the likes of Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler, Chase De Jong and Trevor Oaks. Though, it’s De Leon who appears in MLB Pipeline’s ranking of the top-10 right-handed pitching prospects.

De Leon, who was ranked No. 5 heading into the 2016 season, slipped to No. 8 in this year’s rankings. He missed one month at the outset of last season due to an ankle injury suffered in Spring Training.

De Leon took the mound for Triple-A Oklahoma City in early May, but was then saddled with arm soreness. The right-hander returned in June and remained healthy throughout the remainder of the season.

The 24-year-old went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 86.1 innings pitched over 16 starts for Oklahoma City. De Leon was particularly dominant down the stretch of his time in Triple-A, stringing together three consecutive starts with at least 10 strikeouts.

Overall, De Leon had five double-digit strikeout games for OKC this season. He became the first Oklahoma City pitcher in the Pacific Coast League era to have five such starts in a single season.

De Leon was 2-0 in four starts with the Dodgers, but yielded a 6.35 ERA, 6.97 FIP, 1.53 WHIP and averaged nearly four walks per nine innings. Although De Leon is considered a top prospect, there are questions surrounding his velocity and lack of a consistent breaking ball.

The 24th-round selection in 2013 Draft has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason as the Dodgers continue to search for an answer at second base.