2019 MLB Playoffs: Pitching prospects that could make a difference in AL

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 07: Deivi Garcia #64 of the American League Futures Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Progressive Field on Sunday, July 7, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 07: Deivi Garcia #64 of the American League Futures Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Progressive Field on Sunday, July 7, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays – Jose De Leon

Once upon a time, Jose De Leon was one of the top pitching prospects in the game, a consensus top 40 prospect in both 2016 and 2017. However, injuries, including Tommy Joh surgery, removed the prospect luster from De Leon.

Now 27 years old, and with just six major league appearances to his name, time is running out for De Leon to live up to his potential. However, he has pitched relatively well in the minors this season, posting a respectable 3.67 ERA with 65 strikeouts in his 49 innings. However, there are concerns with his command, as De Leon has also issued 27 walks, contributing to a 1.408 WHiP.

Even after all of his injuries, the stuff is still there for De Leon. His fastball is back in the mid 90s, and his change is still excellent. It is a matter of getting his command back, which can take some time. He is showing improvement there as well, with just four walks in his last 11 minor league innings.

There is definitely a need on the Rays. Right now, their starting rotation consists of Charlie Morton and Brendan McKay, although Trevor Richards should be joining that duo. With injuries to Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Yonny Chirinos, Tampa Bay has a hole in the rotation. De Leon may finally be in position to contribute at the major league level.

The prospect luster is gone from Jose De Leon. Nonetheless, he could be a part of the Tampa Bay Rays push for the 2019 MLB playoffs.