With their third pick (37th overall) in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, the Minnesota Twins selected Landon Leach, a big-bodied (6′ 4″, 220 lb) prep pitcher out of Ontario, Canada. He’s considered a high projectable prospect featuring a mid-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.
We are pleased that Landon was willing to take time to answer some questions for Talking Twins.
Darrell Yates (DY) What was your initial reaction when the Twins selected you in the second round?
Landon Leach (LL) It was very unexpected. I was on the phone with my agent discussing which teams had me on their radar. I had no clue that the Twins were even looking at me. I was projected to go in round three, so when I heard that the Twins were going to select me in the second round, not only was I shocked, but I was incredibly happy.
(DY) Was it a difficult decision to sign with the organization rather than to pitch for Texas? Who, if anyone, helped you to make such a life-changing decision?
(LL) My parents and agents offered advice, but it ultimately needed to be my choice. It would have been a great experience playing for Texas, but what I really wanted to do was play professional baseball, so I made the decision to do so now rather than wait.
(DY) When did you start playing baseball? Was there someone who inspired you to play ball?
(LL) My parents are huge fans of the sport. Many of our family trips were going to spring training games. I started playing Tee-ball when I was 4-years-old. However, I was getting frustrated because there wasn’t a lot of baseball being played. There was more goofing around than anything else, so I quit. I didn’t play baseball again until I was 8-years-old.
(DY) You’re a very talented baseball player. What other sports are you interested in?
(LL) I enjoy many sports: hockey, football, lacrosse, downhill skiing, to name just a few. I played hockey until I was 13-years-old. I told my dad that I wanted to stop playing hockey so I could focus solely on baseball.
(DY) Do you have a favorite team and/or player?
(LL) My dad was/is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a big Twins’ fan now. He’s been wearing a lot of Twins’ apparel since the draft. I didn’t have a favorite team, until I was drafted. I didn’t have a favorite player growing up, but after watching videos of Corey Kluber, I think my game is similar to his.
(DY) What was your favorite baseball moment?
(LL) I was in the car with my dad when I got the call from Greg Hamilton, the head coach of the Canadian Junior National Team, letting me know that I was named to the roster. That was amazing. I called my mother right away to give her the news.
(DY) At what point in your life did you realize that baseball could turn into a professional career?
(LL) Not until this spring when I noticed there was much more hype about me.
(DY) What is your favorite baseball movie?
(LL) Field of Dreams
(DY) Of the four pitches in your arsenal: a two-seam fastball, a four-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup, which do you feel is your strongest? Which one do you think needs to improve?
(LL) My slider is my out pitch, but my 4-seam fastball is probably my best pitch. I throw it with good command and can touch 96 mph. I’m working to become more consistent when using my changeup.
I really want to thank Landon Leach for taking the time to answer a few questions for Talking Twins. After speaking with him, I’ve come to the conclusion that this young man has the right attitude, the confidence and the ability to successfully climb through the Twins’ organization. It’s a long journey, but he’s going to be fun to watch.