Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Astros sign Leo Heras

Via Jose de Jesus Ortiz and the Houston Chronicle, we learn that the Astros have purchased the rights to Leo Heras, playing in the Mexican League for the Mexico City Diablos.

Heras, a 5'9" 190lb lefty-hitting/righty-throwing 23-year old outfielder, was hitting .310/.398/.519 for Mexico City with 19 doubles, nine triples, and 11 homers, with 73K:48BB in 392 PAs. Now in his 7th season in the Mexican League, Heras has posted an OPS over .900 in each of the last three seasons. Regard:

2011: .342/.399/.536 (48K:38BB in 497 PAs)
2012: .323/.398/.556 (83K:53BB in 521 PAs)
2013: .310/.398/.519 (73K:48BB in 392 PAs)

Via Google Translate, we find this MiLB.com article on Heras, who has been dealing with a sore right shoulder. One of his teammates said of him (again, poorly translated by Google as well as my limited Spanish):
Leo is one of the spark plugs that has...this motor...because his energy on the field is transmitted to the rest of the team.

Twitter follower Leonel Coll knows more about Heras than we do, and made a great point: Forget about the homers (well, don't forget about them, but at least make a mental note) - Mexico City, if you recall, is at a very high elevation ("worse than Coors Field" he says), but Heras is a "great contact bat."

FanGraphs wrote on Heras last year:
He has speed, power, and age on his side. Only 22 and ranking among the best hitters in the league, Heras is looking elite in a league that is 6 years older than him on average. If this is not the kind of player the ML exists to find, then who is?

Heras will report to Corpus once he passes his physical.

The Crawfish Boxes actually looked at Heras as a possibility last October.

Check out this video of a Leo Heras at-bat from May, courtesy of the Man, the Myth, the Legend: Craig Robinson:

Fun fact: Heras was teammates this season with former Astros Carlos Hernandez and Gustavo Chacin.