- Rating: 4.83
- Age: 24
- 2019 stats: 30 PA, .280/.367/.440 = .837 OPS, 108 OPS+ 0.2 fWAR
- 2019 salary: Minimum, still Rookie eligible
- 2020 status: 40-man roster, Rule 5 eligible
Signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2012 by the Detroit Tigers, Leyba has always shown a propensity to make solid contact., even more rare is his ability to do so as a switch-hitter. As an 18 year old, he torched A-ball for a .397 batting average and looked to be on the fast track to the major leagues as a starting middle infielder.
He was traded with Robbie Ray to Arizona for Didi Gregorius in December of 2014, and has slowly made his way up the organization since. After a long stretch of time at shortstop he’s since switched positions, to primarily a 2nd baseman but still shows some flexibility to play all around the infield. Despite being with Arizona for 5 years (and the Tigers for 2), Domingo is still only 24.
He dealt with a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery in 2017, robbing him of that season and some of 2018 as he worked his way back to full health. He’s since recovered but it remains to be seen if that hampers him going forward.
Like most seasons, Domingo started out in the minor leagues, this time reaching the top level at Reno. He split his time between both shortstop and 2nd base, with a spattering of appearances at 3rd. Like most everyone, he performed well in Reno, slashing .300/.351/.519 (107 OPS+) with 19 homers and 85 RBIs.
Leyba saw a handful of appearances at the MLB level in 2019, coming up in late June and lacing a single to left for his first MLB hit in his first at-bat.
He’d finally stick on the roster in September, and saw action in 11 of the last 16 games, starting 3 of those. His final line for the MLB season was .280/.367/.440.
Barring any unforeseen acquisitions, I’d expect the D-backs to continue to keep Leyba on the 40-man roster, with a chance of making the Opening Day roster if he plays well during Spring Training. With some infield positional flexibility and a solid contact-first mentality, Leyba has value as a bench bat next year. While he might not live up to the “everyday starting shortstop” label he had when the D-backs first acquired him, he’s still shown the good bat and ability to play the middle infield.