HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have agreed to terms on contracts with 10 international free agents, including eight players from the Dominican Republic, one from Cuba and one from Venezuela. The announcement was made by Astros Senior Director of Baseball Operations Armando Velasco. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
“Assembling a strong international class is not an easy task to pull off, but the work done by our scouting department and office staff this year has been incredible,” said Velasco. “Today’s signings could not have happened without the support of Jim Crane and our entire ownership group, or the hard work of our scouts in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico. For these players, today is only the beginning. It is a long road ahead to the Major Leagues and our player development staff will support them every step of the way. We look forward to each player’s journey and development and we hope to see all of them grow to their full potential.”
The current MLB International signing period, which began today, runs from January 15 through December 15, 2021.
Among today’s signings was outfielder Pedro Leon, a five-tool player ranked by MLB.com as the No. 7 prospect in this year’s international signing class. A 22-year-old native of Cuba, Leon played two seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, where he hit .359 with 21 home runs and a 1.098 OPS (.420 OBP/.678 SLG) in 65 games across two seasons. During the 2018 season, he was named an All-Star at 20 years old after batting .383 with seven doubles, 15 home runs, 36 RBI and a 1.256 OPS (.467 OBP/.789 SLG) in 33 games.
“Pedro Leon projects to be an everyday center fielder and rapid mover to the big leagues,” said Astros Senior Scouting Advisor Charlie Gonzalez. “Pedro has a compact build, tremendous strength and is an extreme quick-twitch athlete. He possesses five plus baseball tools on the 20-80 scouting scale, including an 80-grade arm with throws between 96 and 100 miles per hour. His personal character is exemplary, and he has well above-average baseball game instincts and work ethic both on and off the field. We are very excited to bring Pedro into the organization.”
Today’s signings consist of five right-handed pitchers, three outfielders, one infielder and one catcher.
Below is the full list of international free agents who were signed by the Astros today: