August 2012 Prospect Profile: Ericson Leonora
The following day, his 16th birthday, saw Leonora get inked by the Yankees as an international free agent, and he was almost immediately thrust into life as a Baby Bomber.
From 2009-2011, Leonora played for DSL Yankees 1, the top Bombers squad in the short-season Dominican Summer League, and the teenager did fairly well for himself over those three summers. Regularly playing all three outfield positions, Leonora hit .286 with four homers, 39 RBI and 15 steals in 2009, and followed that up by going .272-2-27 with 14 steals in 2010.
After he posted a .252-8-42 line with five steals in 2011, the Yankees decided to bring Leonora to the States to see how he would fare in American rookie ball, and he found himself in the Gulf Coast League for the 2012 season.
He got off to a hot start, hitting .308 with two homers and 10 RBI in June, but July and August were less kind to Leonora; after hitting .213-2-8 with just a .630 OPS in July, he was at just .188-2-10 with a .594 OPS for the final month through August 22. However, with just a few days to go in the GCL season, he was hitting .271 overall with runners in scoring position, a number nearly 50 points higher than his .223 overall average, and was in the Top 3 in the GCL in both home runs and RBI as of August 22.
In addition, Leonora has been very good defensively, both in the Dominican and down in Tampa, and has been durable (leading the GCL Yanks in games played in 2012). He’s also barely 20 years old, so there is still plenty of time for him to develop as he comes through the system.
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