Getting to Know: Patrick Leonard
Patrick Leonard is one of seven Rays position players who’s in first ever MLB camp, and he’s the only one who was coached in high school by a Hall of Fame player. Leonard, a Floridian, played his senior year at St Thomas HS in Houston, TX, where the head man was none other than Craig Biggio.
It was a unique set of circumstances for Leonard, whose family moved from Jacksonville for just the one year because of his dad’s job, and then went back to live in the same Florida home a year later.
Leonard was drafted in the 5th round in 2011 by the Royals, and traded a year later to the Rays in the deal that included James Shields, Wade Davis, Jake Odorizzi and Wil Myers. Leonard, a corner infielder who also is starting to play the corner outfield spots, played all of last year at Double-A Montgomery.
Leonard struggled through a tough first month where he hit .198 with just a .595 OPS. But thereafter Leonard was consistent, and improved throughout the campaign. In the second half, he hit .289 with an .830 OPS. Overall, Leonard hit .256 with 10 HR, 43 RBI, 45 extra-base hits and 11 steals.
That said, Leonard still felt he needed to get stronger, and the righty now has 230 pounds on his 6–4 frame. We discussed what he hopes to gain out of his first MLB camp, playing for Biggio, and what the invite to Rays camp means:
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For someone who’s been predominantly a corner infielder professionally, Leonard also has some speed. He’s collected double digits in stolen bases the past two seasons, and is 35–41 in attempts lifetime.