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2016 Dodgers review: Jose De Leon

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RHP made 4 of Dodgers’ 70 starts by rookie pitchers in 2016

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jose De Leon climbed the Dodgers prospect list and made his major league debut in 2016.

What went right

De Leon was dominant in Triple-A, striking out 32.5% of his batters with Oklahoma City, going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 16 starts, with 111 strikeouts and only 20 walks in 86⅓ innings.

He was especially in control in August, with three straight double-digit-strikeout starts, two straight scoreless starts, and 40 strikeouts since his last walk in Triple-A, on Aug. 12. On Aug. 22 at New Orleans, De Leon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, settling for one hit and no walks allowed in seven scoreless innings, with 10 strikeouts.

De Leon earned a major league call up in September, and won his first two starts.

What went wrong

De Leon got off to a slow start in 2016, first staying behind in extended spring training to build up strength for the first month of the season. Then, after a dominant debut with nine strikeouts in five scoreless innings, he was sidelined for a month with arm fatigue.

The end result was 103⅓ total innings in 2016 between the majors and minors, after 114⅓ innings in 2015.

After winning his first two major league starts, any thought of De Leon sneaking on to the postseason roster was dashed with two rocky spot starts down the stretch, allowing 11 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits in six innings combined.

2016 particulars

Age: 23

Stats: 2-0, 6.35 ERA, 6.97 FIP in 4 starts, 15 K, 7 BB in 17 innings.

Salary: $507,500, a pro-rated portion thereof during his time in the majors, roughly $80,000.

Game of the year

De Leon beat the Padres on Sept. 4 in his major league debut at Dodger Stadium. He allowed four runs, but just three earned, and lasted six innings for a qualify start, and earned the win. The right-hander finished with a flourish, striking out the side in the sixth, giving him nine strikeouts, the most strikeouts without a walk by a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher in his major league debut.

Roster status

De Leon still retains rookie status, and will enter 2017 at or near the top of various Dodgers prospect lists. He has 29 days of major league service time and three option years remaining.