Elián Leyva

From BR Bullpen

Elián Leyva Delgado

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 210 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Elián Leyva has pitched in Cuba, Spain, Venezuela, the USA and Mexico. He won ERA titles in Spain and Mexico.

Leyva debuted in 2007-2008 for La Habana, going 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in six games (one start). He had a 1-1, 8.24 record for the team in 2008-2009, allowing a .364 average. [1] He was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two outings the next year. He did not pitch in the 2010-2011 Serie Nacional.

He got increased chances when La Habana was divided into two teams in 2011-2012. Assigned to Mayabeque, he went 5-0 with two saves despite a 6.22 ERA. He was third on the new team in wins. In 2012-2013, he was 3-1 with four saves and a 4.94 ERA. He tied Mario Batista for the team lead in saves and was second to Batista with 31 games pitched.

His progress continued in 2013-2014. He started 3-2, 2.92 for Mayabeque. When they did not make the second half, the Industriales picked him up but he sputtered (0-1, 20.25 in 3 G). He was 2-1 with a 6.86 ERA in 12 games in 2014-2015 to end his Serie Nacional career at 14-8, 5.68 with 6 saves in 116 games.

Elián then defected from Cuba and settled in Spain. He signed with CB Barcelona and was outstanding in 2016. He was 4-2 with a save and a 0.70 ERA for Barcelona, allowing a .127 average and fanning 82 in 64 innings. He outperformed former major leaguer Romulo Sánchez among others. He was the Division de Honor leader in ERA (.14 ahead of Yorfrank López), opponent average (.047 ahead of López) and strikeouts (8th, between López and Sánchez). [2]

Atlanta Braves scout Jonathan Cruz signed him late in 2016; the Braves loaned him to the Toros de Tijuana for 2017 but he did not apparently pitch for them. [3] He was 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. He made it to the minor leagues for the first time at age 29 and did a swell job with the Mississippi Braves (3-2, 2.69 in 22 G) and Gwinnett Braves (1-1, 2.70 in 12 G). He walked 25 in 87 innings while striking out 79.

Leyva had a very good winter with the Charros de Jalisco at 6-2, 2.02. He led the Mexican Pacific League in ERA (.63 ahead of Manny Barreda), wins (tied with Jonathan Castellanos, Konner Wade, Dennis O'Grady and Andrés Ávila), WHIP (1.08) and strikeouts (67, tied with David Reyes). [4] He won 106 of 117 votes for Pitcher of the Year. [5]

The right-hander did not last long with Gwinnett in 2019 (Sv, 5.00 in 9 G, 2 BB to 16 K) before being loaned by the Braves to the Sultanes de Monterrey. He had a 4-2, 4.61 record for Monterrey. The Spanish resident then pitched for Spain in the 2019 European Championship. He got into only one game for the Bronze Medalists, relieving Lowuin Sacramento with a 11-3 lead in the 7th against Belgium. He walked Tim Veraghtert, struck out fellow Cuba nativeLeonel Reina Viant but gave up a two-run homer to Sam Boermans. He struck out Thomas De Wolf and retired Dennis De Quint before Eduardo Miliani relieved in the 8th. He tied Miliani for Spain's highest ERA in the event. [6]

Spain qualified for the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier thanks to their placement in the 2019 Euros. He again got into one game, the final one, with Spain already eliminated from hopes of a trip to Tokyo in 2020. He relieved another Cuban, Carlos Sierra, in the 4th with a 2-0 lead over Czechia. He retired Matěj Hejma, allowed a Martin Červenka single, got Petr Čech on a grounder and whiffed Martin Mužík. Jorge Balboa took over in the 5th. [7]