Part of what makes projecting a player difficult, how will he carry over the gains from a breakout season? José Leclerc finished 2018 with 12 saves and 32 strikeouts over his last 21 appearances. Teeming with upside and a high strikeout percentage, LeClerc seemed poised to join the top tier of closers. 

However, LeClerc lost the hold on the job during the season, ceding saves to Shawn Kelley and Chris Martin . Walks led to traffic on the bases and when LeClerc could not escape damage, his ratios and grip on the ninth inning struggled. Last season, LeClerc went 2-4 with 14 saves, a 100:39 K:BB, a 4.33 ERA, 4.21 xFIP and 1.33 WHIP in 68.2 innings. This eclipsed his 3.10 xFIP from 2018 by over a run. 

So what happened? First, LeClerc’s swinging strike percentage dropped by 3.6 percent to 13.5 and his contact allowed jumped to 69.1 percent, a rise of over six percent. Some bad luck with LeClerc’s batting average on balls in play rising by over 100 points. He also allowed a 45...