The Colorado Rockies have signed catcher Luke Leisenring as its first undrafted free agent following the 2020 MLB Draft. He was signed early in the period while the team pursued additional undrafted players. Baseball has not returned and we might not get any at all this year but teams still need to add depth for the future.
Rockies Sign Luke Leisenring
Leisenring is listed at 6’4″, 196 pounds on South Carolina-Aiken University’s team website. He originally hails from Golden, Colorado but began his college career at Arizona State. He transferred to the Peach Belt Conference school after the 2018 season. Leisenring was very productive for the Division II program before his signing. He slashed .297/453/488 with six home runs in 226 plate appearances as a sophomore. He improved to .348/495/623 with four home runs in only 91 plate appearances as a junior in 2020. The shortened college season cut that strong play short but it was enough to catch Colorado’s attention. Leisenring also walked more than he struck out this year but the sample size is too small to mean much.
Leisenring was primarily a catcher but South Carolina-Aiken also played him in a handful of games at first base. He caught six of 15 stolen base attempts which shows some decent arm strength. He probably needs to work on his defense with six passed balls in 20 games this year and 14 in 50 games last year. Some of that could be the quality of the staff he was receiving but it’s something to correct just the same. It could also be a function of Leisenring’s height; there are only nine active catchers 6’4″ or taller. That number includes the Atlanta Braves‘ Tyler Flowers who led the league in passed balls in 2019 with 16. Being a taller catcher does not guarantee troubles with passed balls but it’s worth noting.
What This Means for the Future
A probable lack of a 2020 minor league season means we won’t see Leisenring debut for one of Colorado’s low-level affiliates until 2021. That is very disappointing considering he was off to such a strong start in his junior season with improved plate discipline and power. However, he gives the Rockies organization another catching prospect. He will join 2020 supplemental pick Drew Romo and a few others from previous drafts. Leisenring might end up at first base but he’ll certainly be an interesting prospect to watch.
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