Sandy Leon going into the season was the Red Sox 4th option at Catcher. FOURTH. He found himself behind Christian Vasquez, Blake Swihart, and Ryan Hanigan on the depth chart. After a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness from the names listed, Sandy is now the Red Sox starting catcher. He has also become a cult hero to Red Sox fans.
Oh did I mention that he is hitting a cool .386 with 7 HR 25 RBI 13 2B and 2 3B? Pretty, pretty good for a guy who wasn't expected to play at all this season with the BOSTON Red Sox. Sandy seemed like he'd be spending a lot of time in RI playing in Pawtucket this summer. In 46 games this season I honestly cannot remember a time where Sandy didn't at least have one hit a game. It usually feels like more, I think Sandy just wakes up, gets ready, puts on his gear then goes 2-3 with an RBI every single day. Like clockwork, you can bet that it will get dark tonight and that Sandy Leon is going to mash the baseball like Thanksgiving potatoes. It just doesn't make sense. This guy had 1 career home run going into the season and was a career like .180 hitter. Now Sandy Leon is one of the most important pieces of a Red Sox offense that 1-9 really doesn't have an easy out (as long as Brock Holt isn't starting).
What I really find interesting is the surprise factor of Sandy's success. Everybody had their predictions for the season, but I don't even think Sandy Leon himself could've expecting this sort of success. I know it's only 46 games so far, but for 46 games Sandy Leon has been hitting at an almost. 400 clip. That's a decent sample size, obviously he's going to come back to earth but that still is pretty impressive for a 4th catcher.
Making a name for himself behind the plate as well.
But Sandy "Kings of" Leon has been really impressive with the bat in his hands.
Back to the whole surprise factor...I swear every good Red Sox team has at least one guy like this who comes out of nowhere and has a fantastic season over guys who were expected to contribute. Just look at 2013, when Koji and Daniel Nava broke onto the scene out of nowhere. Going into the season I don't think anybody expected Daniel Nava to hit .303 and be like 5th in the AL in OBP. People forget that Koji was the 4th option at closer for the 2013 Sox. It Hanrahan, Bailey, Tazawa, THEN Koji. That year ended pretty well.
In 2004 you had Mark Bellhorn and Pokey Reese. 2007 you had Jon Lester comeback from cancer to win the clinching game of the World Series. Just talked about 2013 with Koji and Nava. While I still don't think this team is good enough to win the World Series, I also didn't think we were good enough in 2013. The starting pitching has actually been fantastic the last month or so, it's the bullpen that sucks. If that can get figured out, with this line up anything is possible. Still would like to see John Farrell on the next flight out of Boston but I don't know if that's gonna happen.
I just love the Sandy Leon wrinkle in this season, such a pleasant surprise and should this team have a little run in October, don't be surprised if Sandy Leon is one of the Red Sox folklore random guys that we still are talking about 10 years later.