Astros sign two International free agents from Mexico

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have agreed to terms on contracts with right-handed pitcher Jose Luis Bravo and left-handed pitcher Juan Pablo Lopez, Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Director of International Oz Ocampo announced today. 

Bravo, 18, is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher from Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. In 2013, Bravo signed with Los Diablos Rojos del Mexico in Mexico City, and since then has been pitching in the club's minor league system.

"Jose Luis Bravo has an effective repertoire, natural baseball instincts and a good feel for pitching," said Ocampo. "His mound presence is impressive for his age and he isn't afraid to go right at hitters. He has a sharp curveball and a deceptive changeup, and throws his fastball up to 91 miles per hour. Bravo was an important part of the bullpen when the Rojos beat Petroleros de Salamanca in seven games to win the minor league championship in Liga Invernal Mexicana this past January."

Lopez, 17, stands at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and is from Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. The left-handed pitcher signed with Los Diablos Rojos in 2014 and spent most of his time pitching at the Academy of Diablos in Oaxaca. In 2016, Lopez pitched at the Mexican League Academy in Monterrey where he struck out 71 batters in 53.2 innings while being named the starting pitcher for the Academy's All-Star game in June.
"Juan Pablo Lopez is an imposing physical presence on the mound who also has an impressive arsenal," said Ocampo. "He uses his 89-91 mile per hour fastball to attack righties inside, and he goes after lefties with his biting slider that has a tight spin. He also has an effective changeup that he commands well, giving him several weapons to change speed and plane." 

Both players will report to the Astros complex in the Dominican Republic. Bravo will appear in games this season, but Lopez will not appear in games until the 2017 calendar year.