[Editor’s note: A total of 12 prospects received votes in our True Blue LA community ranking, which we are revealing in reverse order. Pitchers Clayton Beeter and Landon Knack were tied at No. 11, and outfielder James Outman was No. 10. Outfielder Jose Ramos was No. 9. Andre Jackson was tied for No. 7 with Eddys Leonard, who is profiled here.]
The first of many talented Dodgers infielders featured on this list, Eddys Leonard might be the least likely of the bunch to stick on the dirt, but might ultimately find a starter’s worth of at-bats around the playing field. Leonard received the lucky/unlucky distinction of being added to the 40-man roster this offseason, which will bring better status and pay, but has also prevented him from participating in early camp with his minor league brethren. Still, Leonard was still at least a year from reaching the majors for meaningful time, as he likely will use 2022 to continue adding polish to his offensive game while gaining defensive reps at second base and the outfield.
Leonard ranks here and was protected on the 40-man roster for his bat. Leonard is thicker than (and likelier heavier than) his listed 160-lb. weight would suggest, so his plus raw power should not be as surprising as his measurables might suggest. Leonard generates tremendous drive through his lower half into contact, and he finishes with a high, helicoptering backswing while driving balls to all parts of the ballpark. He started to put the ball on the ground more after moving to High-A, but Leonard continues to pull the ball quite frequently, helping him tap into that raw power more often than most players at his age.
Leonard will likely be power over hit, given the length of his swing, but he’s proven to have a solid eye and approach already through his age-20 season. How much game power he will end up with still feels in flux. Leonard already has a 22-homer season under his belt (last season over two levels), so it feels odd to suggest a peak of 20-25 home runs, but he has yet to face upper level pitching.
I’ve seen little of Leonard’s defensive work, but his reputation as an iffy infielder looks largely attributable to an average arm with an erratic release. His body type suggests he could fill out more and could take shortstop off the table. He’s spent time at second and center field, but I think he eventually holds his own in a corner too.
Leonard will go as far as his bat will take him, and just based on results, that could be quite far. He has superior raw hitting tools over the average super utility type, and if he continues to get to his raw power in games against better pitching as frequently as he did last season, he wouldn’t look out of place even in a DH role. The risk always with a lack of a carrying defensive home is that if the offense starts to come up short it becomes difficult to roster the player, but it’s far too early to have such concerns for Leonard.