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2021 Marlins Season Review: Sandy León

Without any other strong internal options at catcher, León played in most of the Marlins’ games this season.

Sandy León was a polarizing player for the Marlins this season. León signed a minor league deal and was initially assigned to the team’s alternate training site, but was called up before the 2021 MiLB season even began to replace an injured Jorge Alfaro.

León made positive first impression. He had some key hits in his debut against Baltimore and developed really good, immediate chemistry with the pitchers.

Take Trevor Rogers as an example. In 10 games paired with León, the rookie left-hander had a 1.72 ERA with 62 strikeouts. Indirectly, the veteran backstop played a role in Trevor earning 2 National League Rookie of the Month awards and representing the Marlins as an NL All-Star.

The Marlins used six different starting catchers in 2021. None of them guided the pitching staff to a lower ERA than León (3.23 compared to their 3.96 overall mark). Also, he committed only three errors in 467 total chances and allowed four passed balls.

However, León was a big offensive liability, possibly the worst on the team (202 AB, 15 R, 37 H, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .183 BA, .237 OBP, .505 OPS). Once in a blue moon, he was able to get a hit or a home run, but you never trusted him to come through. Even by catcher standards, he’s an extremely slow baserunner who only goes station to station.

The Marlins have an opening at catcher moving forward and will need to consider all of their options, including Sandy León. Is he useful enough when it comes to working with the young pitchers to overcome his other weaknesses? You could argue both sides of that.

Regardless, they should be identifying at least two catchers who belong ahead of León on the depth chart, then look at him as a candidate for a non-roster spring training invite.


Will the Marlins re-sign free agent Sandy León?

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