José De León
Note: This page is for pitcher José De León who made his debut in 2016; for the pitcher from the 1980s with a similar name, click here.
José Eugenio De León
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 198 lb.
- School Southern University and A&M College
- High School Colegio San Antonio
- Debut September 4, 2016
- Born August 7, 1992 in Isabela, Puerto Rico
Pitcher José De León was a winner in his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 4, 2016, defeating the San Diego Padres, 7-4, while striking out 9 in 6 innings in the thick of a pennant race. He made 4 starts for L.A., going 2-0, 6.35 in 17 innings.
De Leon was a 24th round choice by the Dodgers in the 2013 amateur draft after attending Southern University. On January 23, 2017, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in return for 2B Logan Forsythe. He only made one appearance for the Rays that season, giving up 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings in a relief appearance against the Texas Rangers on May 29th. He was still credited with a 10-8 win. Health issues limited to just 10 games in the minors, as he went on the disabled list on three separate occasions. Three of his appearances came on a rehabilitation assignment with the GCL Rays. He went 2-2, 3.05, pitching well when he was healthy. In spring training in 2018, health issues came back with a vengeance as he was diagnosed in early March with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He was the second Rays' top pitching prospect to suffer such an injury that spring, following Brent Honeywell, who had been shut down for the season two weeks earlier. He underwent Tommy John surgery, which was performed by noted physician Dr. James Andrews.
He pitched the game of a lifetime on March 13, 2023, starting for the Puerto Rican national team against Israel at the 2023 World Baseball Classic at [LoanDepot Park]] in Miami, FL. He faced 17 batters in the game ans retired them all before he had to leave, having come within one pitch of the tournament pitch count limit of 65. Three relievers - Yacksel Rios, Edwin Diaz and Duane Underwood - then retired the next 7 batters, also all in order, to give Puerto Rico eight perfect innings. The game then ended when Puerto Rico scored its tenth run in the bottom of the 8th, triggering the mercy rule. It was thus a combined eight-inning perfect game.
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