Dominic Joseph Leone
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 210 lb.
- School Clemson University
- High School Norwich Free Academy
- Debut April 6, 2014
Dominic Leone made the majors in 2014.
Leone was 4-3 with a 1.48 ERA and 66 K in 47 IP as a high school junior and was an AFLAC All-American. As a senior, he was All-State and was rated the top high school prospect in Connecticut by Perfect Game. He was 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA as a college freshman. He improved to 6-2, 3.70 with a .219 opponent average and 72 K in 65 2/3 IP as a sophomore. He had a 2-3, 3.15 record and .229 opponent average with 40 K in 40 IP for the Chatham A's in the Cape Cod League. He fell to 7-4, 5.25 his junior year. He tied for 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference in wins but also tied for the most earned runs allowed. The Seattle Mariners took him in the 16th round of the 2012 amateur draft. The scout was Garrett Ball.
The right-hander was 3-0 with five saves and a 1.36 ERA, striking out 39 and allowing a .177 average in 33 IP. He had the fourth-lowest opponent average of Northwest League relievers and tied for 7th in saves. In the summer of 2013, he climbed the organizational ladder with the Clinton Lumber Kings (1 UER in 6 1/3 IP, 10 K), High Desert Mavericks (0-1, 12 sv, 2.50 in 29 G) and Jackson Generals (1-2, 4 Sv, 2.50 in 16 G). He was second to Logan Bawcom for saves by a Mariners farmhand. He then was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 15 K to 1 BB for the Peoria Javelinas and led the Arizona Fall League in saves (6, two ahead of Jake Barrett and David Goforth).
Leone opened 2014 with the Tacoma Rainiers but his scheduled outing was rained out and he was then called up to the Mariners to replace the ineffective Hector Noesi. In his major league debut on April 6th, he relieved Chris Young with a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the 7th against the Oakland Athletics. He began by allowing a double to Eric Sogard but fanned Coco Crisp on a full count and got Josh Donaldson on a grounder. He walked Jed Lowrie on a full count then Brandon Moss was retired to end the inning. Yoervis Medina replaced him in the 8th. he ended up making 57 appearances fopr the Mariners, all in relief, and logging 66 1/3 innings during which he gave up only 52 hits while striking out 70 opponents. His ERA was an excellent 2.17, to go along with an 8-2 record in a very solid rookie season.
Things did not work out as well for Dominic at the start of the 2015 season, as after 10 appearances, he was 0-4 with a 6.35 ERA. he was sent town to AAA Tacoma for a stretch but did not do any better, with a 7.71 ERA in 8 appearances. On June 3rd, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with C Welington Castillo and two prospects, IF Jack Reinheimer and OF Gabby Guerrero, in return for OF Mark Trumbo and P Vidal Nuno. The Diamondbacks bet that Leone would turn things around given he still had outstanding stuff. However, he gave up 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings in 3 appearances with Arizona the rest of the way. His 2016 season was poor as well, as his ERA was 6.33 in 25 appearances. He gave up 45 hits in 27 innings.
Leone was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2016 season, and he was re-born pitching in Toronto in 2017. He made the team out of spring training, and while he went down to the AAA Buffalo Bisons for 4 games in a couple of back-and-forth shuttles in June and July, he was usually quite solid in the Jays' bullpen. By the end of August, he had become one of manager John Gibbons' go-to relievers in key situations, alongside youngsters Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes, and when closer Roberto Osuna was unavailable of September 11th, having gone on paternity leave, he got the chance to close a game for the first time and recorded his first career save in preserving a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles, pitching a scoreless 9th inning. Overall, he went 3-0, 2.56 with the 1 save in 65 games. In 70 1/3 innings, he struck out 81 batters.
- 2014 Mariners Media Guide
- Clemson bio