MLB: Home sweet home… After eight years as a professional, this pitcher is hired by the Angels

The Los Angeles Angels agreed to a minor league contract with pitcher right Daniel Ponce de Leon, according to the team’s official transaction log. After eight years as a professional, Ponce will finally know what it is to pitch in his homeland, since he was born in Anaheim, California on January 16, 1992. Since 2014 he belonged to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Because former St Louis Cardinals swingman was released in September and did not return to a major league roster before the end of the season, qualified as a minor league free agent who can sign during the lockout. Ponce de León is represented by Paragon Sports:

Now 30 years old, Ponce de León got off to a promising start to his major league career, posting a 3.31 ERA with a 24.8% strikeout rate, 11.6% walk rate and 40.7% ground ball rate in his first 81 2/3 starts with the Cards from 2018-19:

Walks were all too frequent, but Ponce de Leon fought that trend with a penchant for inducing weak contact (87.2 mph exit speed and 27.6% hard hit rate, per Statcast).

However, things got worse in 2020. Ponce de Leon saw a huge increase in strikeouts (31.5%), but he also saw his walk rate rise to 14%. He was also torched for eight home runs in 32 2/3 innings that season, the same combined number he had produced in the first 81 2/3 innings of his career.

He failed to right the ship in 2021 as the steep rise in balls hit hard by his opponents continued, all while his strikeout rate plummeted to a career-worst 15.4%.

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Raphael Martinez

I am a fan of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and all Mexican baseball in general. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, LMB All Star, LMP (uninterruptedly since 2009), signatures of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, although as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I have baseball in my veins. Degree in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and a reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I arrived at El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services at Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and a few days later, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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MLB: Home sweet home… After eight years as a professional, this pitcher is hired by the Angels