Feast your eyes on Japhet Amador, a 6-foot-4, 300-something pound slugger from Mexico whom the Houston Astros have invited to major league spring training. He is expected to suit up Friday after being delayed because his pregnant wife has been ill back home.
Amador, 26, brings big size (yeah?) and big power potential to the Astros, who signed him from the Mexican League in 2013 after he hit 36 home runs, 22 doubles and posted a .419 on-base percentage in 400 at-bats for the Red Devils. He has 112 homers and a career .320 batting average in seven seasons in the Mexican League.
The Mexican League has been described as like Triple-A, but with its thin pitching and high altitudes, it's hard to say how his stats translate. Amador did not homer in 10 games with the Astros' Triple-A team this past season, but in Arizona Fall League competition he did OK, slugging .507 with four homers in 67 at-bats for Peoria. He also had a 17-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. So he's a bit of a curiosity and something of a project and someone who probably will play a significant portion of the season at Triple-A.
Amador reportedly weighed 330 pounds when the Astros brought him to Triple-A, but he's listed at 305 pounds. Or he could be 315. We'll find out soon.
At his size, Amador seems like a "DH-only" type (if he hits), but columnist and former scout Bernie Pleskoff describes him as "cat-like" on defense, comparing him to former Gold Glover Andres Galarraga — who also never weighed 300 pounds during his career.
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