Leblanc, 27, was a fourth-round pick by the Rangers in the 2016 draft. After spending six seasons at second and third base in Texas’s minor league system, Leblanc signed on with the Marlins on a minor league deal prior to the 2022 season. It didn’t take long for him to break into the big leagues with his new organization, as Miami called him up just before the trade deadline that July. Leblanc primarily played second base in the majors, though he did spend time at both first and third base as well. He did fairly well for himself at the dish in a bench role, slashing .263/.320/.404 in 169 plate appearances, good for a wRC+ of 104, though a 31.4% strikeout rate and a .374 BABIP both stood out as potential red flags.
Those concerns surely contributed to the Marlins designating Leblanc for assignment back in January, a move that cleared space on the 40-man roster for then-freshly signed infielder Jean Segura. Leblanc cleared outright waivers and remained in the Marlins organization for the 2023 campaign, spending the entire year at the Triple-A level. He once again split time between first, second, and third base and hit fairly well in 94 games at the level, slashing .253/.384/.423 in 370 trips to the plate with an eye-catching 16.5% walk rate. Following the 2023 season, Leblanc was once again eligible for minor league free agency, allowing him to sign on with the Halos ahead of the 2024 campaign.
Looking ahead to next season, Leblanc could prove to be a valuable piece of non-roster infield depth for the Angels. The club lost Gio Urshela to free agency earlier this month, and while Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Luis Rengifo could form a solid trio of young infielders for the club, Anthony Rendon has struggled to stay healthy in recent years and Brandon Drury profiles as a likely trade candidate if the Angels look to retool with franchise face Shohei Ohtani likely headed elsewhere in free agency this winter. Given those question marks, it’s certainly possible that there’s a path back to the majors available for Leblanc in Anaheim next year.