Jorge De Leon, much like David Carpenter, came up through the minor league system as a position player but soon his potential as a reliever came to light. Signed to play as a SS by the Astros in 2006, he would struggle through the early part of his minor league career in the Dominican Summer League hitting .230 in 2006 and again in 2007, hitting .190. Apparently not detoured by his struggles, the Astros would promote him to their short season affiliate Greenville only to see a mild improvement. Once again it appeared that the Astros were convinced to push DeLeon and he would get promoted to to both single A affiliates in 2009 which resulted in much the same offensive stats hitting .206. Although his defensive ability seemed respectable yet erratic, at this point the Astros were ready to try something different with DeLeon, very different.
DeLeon would be converted to a pitcher, a move that normally happens as a last ditch effort to save a former prospect. De Leon would respond by posting a 0.64 era and a 2-1 record with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2010. As the conversion showed signs of working, De Leon was promoted once again to High A Lexington but this time as a pitcher in 2011 and continued to show signs of development. While a promotion to the big league level seems unlikely, his continued improvement on the mound will be something to keep an eye on. If he follows David Carpenter’s path to the majors, the Stros might have found another diamond in the rough.