Juan De Leon
Juan C. De Leon
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 160 lb.
- Born June 24, 1980 in Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal D.R.
Juan De Leon pitched in the minor leagues from 2001 to 2004 and in 2006. He played in Japan in 2011. Despite having success everywhere he went, he never played above High A stateside.
After a year in the Dominican Summer League, De Leon went 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings for the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Houston Astros chain in 2002. In 2003, he was 2-0, 1.83 in 26 relief appearances for the Lexington Legends; he averaged 10.3 K/9 IP. On March 25, 2004, he was traded to the New York Yankees for infielder Mike Lamb. Between the GCL Yankees and Tampa Yankees that year, he had a 2.85 ERA in 34 games (2 starts), averaging 10.2 K/IP. After not playing in 2005, he returned in 2006—as a 26-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. Playing like a man among boys (he was seven years older than the average league player), he allowed just one unearned run on 17 hits and one walk in 44 1/3 innings over 22 relief appearances. He had 68 strikeouts, or nearly 14 per nine innings. Outside of a couple stints in the Dominican Winter League, he played mostly in Panama (10-2, 1.33 in 2009) until he joined the NPB's Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2011. That year, he was 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA in 41 relief appearances for their farm team in the Western League; in 58 innings, he allowed just 41 hits. Outside of a single game in the 2013-14 DWL, that was the end of his professional career.
He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, allowing only one hit and fanned 8 in 7 shutout innings for the win over Venezuela. He was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 3 games (1 start), giving up just 2 hits but walking 8 in 8 innings while fanning 10 for the Bronze Medal winners. He tied for 3rd in the Games in Ks, behind Norge Luis Ruiz and Sergio Mora but tied Jean Rossil for the walk lead.
His birthyear is also listed as 1981.