I recently joined the crew at Locked on Astros podcast to discuss the 21 Cubans Houston has in their organization. This was in the shadow of CBA negotiations which currently have the 2022 MLB season on hold. With that in mind, of the 18 Cuban minor leaguers, right now, none will be making their debut in The Show anytime soon. However, should we reach labour peace will it be A Short Stop in the minors for Astros Pedro Leon?
Leon received 2021’s largest international signing bonus and at 22 represents a more mature prospect. This has been the case for many Cubans who due to having to defect, historically arrive a bit later. This also means the expectations are that he is closer to being a finished product. The Cuban free agent market is trending younger though. Players from Pedro’s cohort and relative Cuban National Series experience are still signing, however for decreasing dollars. César Prieto, Oscar Colas and Pedro Leon might prove to be the last of their ilk to sign such lucrative MLB bonuses.
Astros’ beat writer Brian McTaggart gives a good rundown of Houston’s plan and expectations for Leon this spring. That article is linked above. The Coles notes though are that they at least plan to start out employing him the same way they did in 2021. Leon finished last year at AAA and played predominantly as a short stop but would start roughly once a week at his natural position in the outfield.
Leon’s 2021 season could best be described as inconsistent. Check out my video piece above where I give an in depth break down of the highs and lows and some of the promising aspects of an otherwise disappointing debut in professional baseball. Ultimately do you think it will be a short stop in the minors for Pedro León?