Update on Mexican Prospects Japhet Amador and Leonardo Heras
Last August I wrote a popular post about the Houston Astros’ signing of two position players out of the Mexican League (summer) Japhet Amador and Leonardo Heras. Amador is an enormous 1Bman who hit a ton in Mexico, and Heras is a younger and faster outfielder.
Since signing with the Astros, Amador’s performance has been a mixed bag. In 10 late season games with Oklahoma City of the AAA Pacific Coast League, Amador hit .302 (13 for 43), but had no extra base hits, walks or stolen bases, giving him a slash line of .302/.302/.302.
Amador hit well in 18 games in the Arizona Fall League (“AFL”), batting .284/.286/.507. However, he showed no speed and walked little in a league which he should dominate based on his long-time experience as a top hitter in what is probably a AA+ or AAA- league. Minor League Baseball’s website lists Amador’s weight as 305 lbs, which would actually be a ten pound drop from what he was listed at earlier in the season.
After the AFL, Amador played in Mexico’s winter league, where he hit only .209/.273/.333 in 36 games. Amador is now 27 years old, and he just doesn’t look like he’s going to be a major league player unless he hits a ton this coming season in the Pacific Coast League.
Heras hit only .205 in 10 late season games at AA Corpus Christi, but he walked and hit for enough power to leave him with a .739 OPS. He stole a base in his only attempt and he hit a triple, suggesting he’s at least got some speed.
Heras hit .266/.356/.362 in 52 Mexican winter league games and stole nine bases in ten attempts. Heras is only 24 this upcoming season, and it looks like his ability to get on base and run give him a reasonable chance of developing into a major league player.