Potomac's Leon learning opponents' swings, making big strides behind the plate

The catching depth in the Washington Nationals organization continues to show itself in the lower level minor league teams with Adrian Nieto and David Freitas in Single-A Hagerstown.

Meanwhile, up one level in Woodbridge, Va., after a slow start at the plate, High-A Potomac Nationals catcher Sandy Leon is beginning to get on a hitting roll.

Leon has batted .273 in the last 10 games with a double, three homers and seven RBI. He has had those three round trippers in his last 10 outings, with two homers his previous 78 games.

August 4 at Salem was one of his better games as a professional. Leon went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and two RBI.

Many in the organization believed at the beginning of the year that Leon and shortstop Rick Hague (who is out for the year with a shoulder injury), would be the first off this team to make it to the majors.

Leon has also continued to work on his defense and calling games behind the plate for Potomac, working prospects like Danny Rosenbaum, Sammy Solis and Cameron Selik.

Potomac Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart said that is the biggest step forward for Leon this season. He is concentrated on knowing everything his pitchers' are going to do when they go to the mound.

"I think Sandy has been great all year," Menhart said. "He is really learned a lot about each individual pitcher. What there strengths and weaknesses are, what they can and cannot do."

"He is starting to recognize swings a little bit better, and the weaknesses of the opposing teams. He is just getting smarter. It has been a very productive year for him in that regard."

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