Catching On: Leisenring Set To Become 2nd Catcher and 2nd Colorado Native Signed by Rockies

Tracy Ringolsby

The Rockies went to South Carolina to land a hometown prospect -- catcher Luke Leisenring -- the first known undrafted player to agree to terms with the Rockies this year. 

The agreement was announced by the University of South Carolina-Aiken, where Leisenring played the last two seasons after spending his freshman year at Arizona State. 

The Rockies historically do not comment on contract agreements until the final details, including a physical, are completed.

Leisenring started in 70 games behind the plate for USC-Aiken. He made 20 starts in a shortened 2020 season, hitting .348 with four home runs, 12 RBI and 20 runs scored.

The 6-foot-5, 196-pound Leisenring hit .297 as a sophomore, in his first year at USC-Aiken with six home runs, 29 RBI and 42 runs scored in 50 games. A switch-hitter, Leisenring hit .250 as a freshman at Arizona State in 2018, appearing in 20 games, six as a starter.

Ranked the fourth best-player in Colorado and the No. 1 catcher  by Perfect Game in 2017, Leisenring took extra classes as a junior at Ralston Valley High School in the 2017-18 school year, graduating early and enrolling the next fall at Arizona State.

In a normal year, Leisenring was projected to be drafted somewhere in the sixth-through-10 rounds. The draft, however, was shortened to five rounds because of the pandemic this year.

That opened the door for teams to sign an inordinate number of non-drafted players, but a sticking point is MLB enacted a $20,000 limit on the signing bonus an undrafted player could receive. 

"Luke had been projected all along as a top 10 round pick and I know some teams had him as high as the sixth round," USC-Akien head coach Kenny Thomas said in a release issued by the school. "I'm so proud he got this well-deserved opportunity, especially with his home state team.

"I project Luke will have a great career. He's been a great player for USC Aiken and the Rockies signed a great switch-hitting young catcher."

The Rockies also drafted a catcher -- Drew Romo of the Woodlands (Tx) High School  -- in the Competitive Balance Round between the first and second rounds. He was the 35th player drafted overall .

And they drafted a Colorado native -- right-handed pitcher Case Williams of Douglas County High School -- in the fourth round, the 110th player selected overall. 

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