Astros acquire pair of Mexican League stars

Astros acquire pair of Mexican League stars

Astros acquire pair of Mexican League stars

ANAHEIM -- The Astros have agreed to terms with the Diablos Rojos (Mexico City Red Devils) of the Mexican League to acquire first baseman Japhet Amador and outfielder Leo Heras. Amador will be assigned to Triple A-Oklahoma City, and Heras will report to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Both players are expected to report to their affiliates within the next week.

"Finding and acquiring the best Mexican talent is a priority for us," said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was born in Mexico. "We have increased our scouting of the Mexican baseball leagues and believe there are many players that can help the Houston Astros in the future."

Amador, 26, hit .368 with 22 doubles, 36 home runs, 121 RBIs and a .419 on-base percentage in 104 games for the Diablos Rojos this season. The 6-foot-4 first baseman led the Mexican League in RBIs, while ranking second in homers and third in total bases (277). Amador has played in the Mexican League for seven seasons (2007-13) and owns a career .330 average with 112 home runs and 400 RBIs in 503 career games.

"Japhet's numbers speak for themselves," Luhnow said. "Power like his is not easy to find, and we are excited about seeing how his power numbers translate to Triple-A and how he fares against top notch pitching."

Heras, 23, hit .310 with 19 doubles, nine triples, 11 homers, 42 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a .398 on-base percentage in 91 games for the Diablos Rojos in 2013. The left-handed-hitting Heras, who batted primarily leadoff this season, was tied for second in the Mexican League in triples. Heras made his debut in the Mexican League in 2007 and has compiled a .318 career average with 109 doubles and 89 stolen bases in his seven professional seasons.

"Leo is one of the bright young Mexican stars," Luhnow said. "He has already put together several outstanding seasons at a young age and is ready for the challenge of higher level pro ball in the United States."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.