Ponce de Leon was drafted by the Cardinals in 2014 and stayed with the organization until being released in September of 2021. He had a nice MLB debut but saw his ERA climb as time went on. He put up a 2.73 ERA in 2018, followed by marks of 3.70, 4.96 and 6.21 in the three subsequent campaigns.
Although he generally got strikeouts at above-average rates, his walks kept mounting and made it harder for him to succeed. Last year, the strikeouts vanished, as his rate dropped from 31.5% in 2020 to 15.2% in 2021, helping his ERA spike. On the whole, he has 147 2/3 innings of MLB experience with a 4.33 ERA, 37% ground ball rate, 23.9% strikeout rate and 12.7% walk rate.
This year, he signed a minor league deal with the Angels in January but was released and joined the Mariners on another minors deal in April. Even during his down years with the Cardinals, he still generally pitched well in Triple-A, though even that has eluded him this season. Through 16 starts with the Tacoma Rainiers, he’s logged 71 1/3 innings with a 7.95 ERA. His 24.1% strikeout rate is a bit above average, but his 12.7% walk rate and 27% ground ball rate are both subpar. Based on those unfortunate results, the Mariners have cut him loose and sent him back into free agency.