The name may not ring a bell, but it should start registering soon. Japhet Amador was signed midseason by the Houston Astros from the Mexican League Mexico City Red Devils. Amador boasts an impressive resume from his days in Mexico. Prior to being signed by the Astros, he was hitting .368 with 36 home runs and 121 RBIs in just 114 games.
At 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, Amador’s calling card is clearly power and he has lived up to this card for his entire career. Now, he gets a shot in the MLB.
With Brett Wallace clearly not panning out and Chris Carter still striking out a ton, Amador, who only strikes out once ever 6.8 at bats, may have a big window to insert himself into the Astros 2014 roster. Granted, Jonathan Singleton is still the heir apparent at first base, there is still the need for a DH, a platoon first baseman in case Singleton fizzles and just power bats in general.
While Amador’s sample size in the United States is still fairly small, it’s hard to tell how he’s translating to American ball. In 43 at-bats in Triple-A, he failed to notch a home run. He did, however, hit .302, which is a welcome sight.
Amador also made his way to the Arizona Fall League for a little extra work. In 20 at-bats thus far in the AFL, he’s hit .350 with a home run and three RBIs.
Again, it’s a small sample size, but the most accessible position the Astros have available is first base, so the window is open for him. Don’t be surprised to see the hulking slugger shine in Houston’s Spring Training.