As a first round draft pick for the Cincinnati Reds in 2009 Mike Leake has developed into one of the best pitchers after becoming only the second player in the last decade to go straight from the draft to the major leagues skipping the minor leagues. The 26 year old pitcher from San Diego, California has found a spot for himself in the Reds starting rotation.
Leake grew up in San Diego where he attended Valley Center High School for his freshman and sophomore years where he started on the varsity team both seasons. Leake would later transfer from Valley Center to Fallbrook High School where he captained the baseball team his senior season.
Upon graduation Leake attended Arizona State University where he quickly became a dominant force as a starting pitcher. In his freshman season Leake recorded a 13-2 record with a 3.69 ERA. His 13 wins were the third most ever by an ASU freshman, his 127 strikeouts were the most ever by a freshman. In his sophomore season Leake picked up where his freshman season ended, an 11-3 record gave the young pitcher 24 wins in two seasons. His senior season at ASU was a season for the record books, his 16-1 record with a 1.71 ERA, 142 innings pitched and 162 strikeouts allowed Leake to lead the team and the Pac-10.
After his junior season Leake left Arizona State and went to the MLB Draft. He was drafted by the Reds with the eight overall pick in 2009, his initial deal was $2.3M with a $400,000 signing bonus. After signing the Reds had Leake pitch in the Arizona Fall League, after a great performance there the Reds decided to move Leake straight to the majors.
His first start came on April 11th, 2010 against the Chicago Cubs. A 3-1 victory saw Leake go 6.2 IP allowing only 4 hits in the game, Leake also recorded two hits himself.
Over his career Leake has been a good hitter. His career batting average sits at .248 with 57 career hits.
As for pitching stats Mike Leake has been quietly impressive for the Reds. A career ERA of 4.00 and 42 wins over the last five years has provided the Reds with stout pitching over his tenure. Leake has increased his innings pitch each season he has been in the majors, in 2014 he pitched 192.1 innings, it will be hard to be that this season but there is nothing say he cannot.
Mike Leake is currently pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals, he has gone 6 innings so far only allowing 3 hits. The Reds lead 3-0.