One position the Arizona Diamondbacks are deep in is middle infielders. Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings played full seasons in 2015 at the Major League level while Brandon Drury excelled in a September call up. Dansby Swanson was taken with the first overall pick in last year’s Draft. The D-backs have another player who, though not as well-known as any of the others mentioned, does have a bright future. Meet second baseman/shortstop Domingo Leyba.
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How he came to the organization: Leyba was traded to the D-backs on December 5th, 2014 along with Robbie Ray by the Detroit Tigers. Arizona sent shortstop Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees while the Tigers acquired Shane Greene from the Bronx Bombers.
Minor League career: Leyba was signed by Detroit as a 17-year old free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2013. He tore up the Dominican Summer League by hitting .348 with a .446 on-base percentage. He received his first taste of Minor League ball the following year, spending time at two Single A levels. The switch-hitter put together another outstanding campaign with a .323 batting average and a .360 OBP in 278 plate appearances. Still only 18 at the time, Leyba was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he struggled with only seven hits in 41 at-bats. After being traded to Arizona, he spent all of 2015 at high Class A Visalia, receiving a total of 562 plate appearances. He had 43 RBI’s to go along with a .237 average and a .277 OBP.
Where he will be in 2016: Despite what appears to be a slow down in progress, Leyba is still a top ten prospect in the organization. Don’t read too much into the faltering numbers; remember he was still a teenager playing against guys that were four and five years older than him. He turned 20 on September 11th and has already received almost 900 Minor League plate appearances. He showed some speed with ten stolen bases and he doesn’t strikeout too much (90 times in 562 plate appearances). Leyba seems to be ticketed for another stint with the Rawhide to start the season with an eye on Double A ball during the Summer.