On Friday, International Signing Day began after being pushed back from its original date of July 15. As expected, the Houston Astros signed Cuban outfielder Pedro Leon. The five-tool phenom received a $4 million signing bonus with Houston.
Leon is 22 years old and been an Astros target for awhile. The right-hander is ranked seventh on MLB Pipeline’s international free agent rankings, but it is too early to call him the best international signing just yet. While having a bright future and a lot of talent behind him, the Astros still have Jose Altuve as their best international signing in franchise history and their most recent hit in signing in Yuli Gurriel. While George Springer’s return is not in the Astros future, they targeted one of the most complete and MLB-ready international players on the market.
Leon played for the Huracanes de Mayabeque in the Cuban National Series from 2017-2019, and hit .359/.420/.678 with 21 home runs and 61 RBI. In his first season, he played in 32 games and hit .333/.365/.556 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 117 at bats. In his next season, he hit .383/.467/.789 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI in 33 games. These numbers led to a Series All-Star appearance in 2018. His offensive ability was surging, and he eventually defected from Cuba in 2019.
While dominating at the plate, Leon stole eight bases in 16 attempts. There is a lot behind Leon’s glove, bat, and legs that will make him a potential star in center field. He will have a rapid progression through the minor leagues and will hopefully become the everyday centerfielder come 2023.
The Astros had a bonus pool of $5,348,100 per MLB.com. Here are the rest of their signings:
OF Brayan Nolasco (Dominican Republic)
OF Richel del Rosario (Dominican Republic)
IF Yamal Encarnacion (Dominican Republic)
RHP Darwin Rosario (Dominican republic)
LHP Carlos Arcila (Venezuela)
RHP Freilyn De Pena (Dominican Republic)
RHP Juan Soto (Dominican Republic)
RHP Miguel Ullola (Dominican Republic)
RHP Elvin Villega (Dominican Republic)