Pedro Leon — September 2022 Forecast: Situational Center Fielder Houston Astros
While Chas McCormick and Jose Siri have shown flashes of improvement, they are still both average players who provide similar offensive and defensive production.
Jake Meyers is on his way back to the team making the battle for center field even more muddled. But I can see the Astros, should Leon make strides at the plate that he needs to make before being called up, making the move to who they feel is their center fielder of the future.
There’s a reason the Astros gave him a $4 million signing bonus — the largest bonus in the 2020-2021 international class. While it’s possible he’d be used as a trade piece, that certainly seems like a lot of money to give someone to just eventually be trade fodder.
So far, McCormick and Siri haven’t run away with the job. And Meyers hasn’t shown what he can do, though he will get the opportunity to do so. Leon has not played well early on this year, but in the Cuban National Series, he hit .359 with 21 homers in 65 games as a 19 and 20-year-old.
His ceiling is extremely high, and if the center-field position continues to be underwhelming for the Astros, it’s entirely possible Leon will get his shot this year. While he may not get regular at-bats, he will be in the mix unless Meyers comes back with a vengeance, solidifying himself as the everyday center fielder.
Leon is the youngest of the four center fielders and has played in the Futures Game as well as the Arizona Fall League, two indicators of his All-Star potential. Meyers, McCormick and Siri cannot lay claim to either of those accolades.
Those three more have the appearance of at best solid players who can provide decent production from the back end of the lineup. Leon is considered to have all-star potential. With center field being the biggest sore spot for the team, it will either be Leon or a trade come September in center field.
But no matter what, all three of these players will be with the Astros organization in some capacity come September.