There’s no way you can take a look back at the Astros’ success in recent history without mentioning Cuban players.
Yuli Gurriel has been a force in the lineup since he got to the big leagues and helped the team to win it all in 2017, Yordan Álvarez won the ROY award in 2019, and Aledmys Díaz is one of the most versatile, productive utility guys in baseball.
But, fortunately, the Astros keep bringing Cuban promising players aboard. Not so long ago, they signed prospect now 23-year-old prospect Pedro León (CF/SS) with a $4M signing bonus, the highest for any ballplayer of the international period. They also brought in 26-year-old Norel González, who can play first base and left field.
Right now, just months later, they are smashing rival pitching at Double-A for the Corpus Christi Hooks.
León, whose ETA according to MLB Pipeline is 2022, is rapidly building up his way to the MLB. The second-best prospect in the organization overcame a slow start to his professional career in which he posted a .128/.226/.277 slash line over his first 13 games (20 strikeouts).
But in 15 contests since May 21 (not including Friday), he compiled 16 hits across 50 at-bats, along with five doubles, two home runs, nine ribbies, 12 scored runs, 11 walks, three steals, and a .320 batting average (1.000 OPS).
León, a right-handed hitter, still has some work to do, though, as he’s struggling to hit against righties...
- Vs RHP: 92 PA, 16 H, 5 2B, 3 HR, .205/.326/.385
- Vs LHP: 33 PA, 7 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, .269/.424/.538
Regarding his teammate González, it happened the same with him during the beginning of the Double-A campaign. Throughout his first eight games, González got only two hits in 25 at-bats, two runs batted in, and registered poor .080/.207/.200 averages.
But in his most recent 18 contests (May 20 - Jun 10), González has racked up 24 hits, six doubles, six home runs, 20 RBIs, 11 runs, and eight free passes, with a .375/.459/.750 slash line (1.209 OPS).
- May: 66 PA, 13 H, 2 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, .217/.288/.500
- June: 37 PA, 13 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, .448/.568/.793
They don’t seem too far away from the big leagues, especially León, who is expected to become a vital piece for the Astros in the long run and has been given a try at shortstop since his AA debut.
It’s not crazy to think that, sooner than later, they both could be up helping the MLB team with their countrymen Díaz, Álvarez, and Gurriel.