Originally Posted by 757690
I guess I never thought of Leake as polished. Ever.
I think the report on him was that he was smart, but that doesn't mean he was a smart pitcher. Being a smart pitcher comes from experience more than brain power. Ignoring the off the field stuff, and just focusing on his performance, he has done little to show me that he's that smart of a pitcher, in fact, he seems to make dumb mistakes all the time (homers).
Just because he was smart and mature for a guy right out of college, doesn't mean that he was smart and mature for a MLB pitcher. He clearly has a ton of room to grow in terms of maturity and pitching smarts.
The fact that he has done little of this in his first three seasons is worrisome, but that doesn't mean he is done maturing and learning.
He's a 25 year old with 485 MLB IP for a 4.23 ERA, and a record of 28-22, with a career 6.0 K/9 - what's he getting by with for so long if he isn't smart or polished?
He also is underrated as he's an excellent hitter (which still matters in the NL) and an excellent fielder (led the NL in putouts in 2012, second in range factor), and doesn't allow many SB (18 SB, 11CS career | AJ Burnett allowed 38 last year)
Leake's biggest problem is getting his first pitch over, he's not giving up HR's because of smarts, he's giving them up because of stuff. Compare Bailey and Leake over the past 3 years.
Leake 1st 2 pitches: 658 AB, 39 HRs, 5.93 HR%
Leake after 2 pitches: 1350 AB, 29 HRs, 2.15 HR%
Bailey 1st 2 pitches: 475 AB, 20 HRs, 4.21 HR%
Bailey after 2 pitches: 1388 AB, 35 HRs, 2.52 HR%
Leake's problem last year is a lot more 1st pitch AB's against him, and decent 0-1 AB's, he may have to throw a few more early balls outside the zone to improve his success.