Rays' Patrick Leonard: First homer of spring Thursday
Leonard went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in Thursday's 10-8 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates.
Leonard has made reasonable progress through the Rays system over the past three seasons after arriving in a December 2013 trade with the Royals. He did encounter some rough sledding in his first brush with Triple-A pitching last season, slashing .198/.276/.252 at Durham over 145 plate appearances. The 24-year-old third baseman is slashing .235/.235/.588 with three doubles, Thursday's homer, three RBI and four runs overall in 17 at-bats, displaying some of the pop that's led to solid extra-base hit production at the minor league level. Leonard will kick off the 2017 campaign with a fresh start at Triple-A Durham and could be summoned back up at some point during the regular season as the Rays attempt to evaluate his viability as a possible successor to Evan Longoria at the hot corner.
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