Sunday, November 15, 2015

AMADOR, LIDDI OFF TO HOT STARTS FOR JALISCO

While Mexicali’s Welington Dotel has been the surprise story thus far in the MexPac season, a familiar figure (in more ways than one) has shown why some consider him the best hitter in Mexican baseball today.  Massive 1B Japhet Amador of Guadalajara’s Jalisco Charros, who stands 6’4” and is listed at 310 pounds, is tied with Obregon’s Reynaldo Rodriguez for the LMP lead with 10 homers and tops the league with 30 RBIs to go with his .316 average.  

This year’s Mexican League MVP after hitting .346 with 41 homers and 117 RBIs in 103 games for Mexico City, the 28-year-old Amador has hit .333 with 166 homers and 591 ribbies over 647 LMB contests since winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2009.  Amador was purchased by the Astros in September 2013 after a .361/36/121 campaign for the Diablos Rojos, but sent back to Mexico City early the following season after short stints with AAA Oklahoma City and in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the All-Prospect Team.  Despite his sweet swing and surprisingly nimble footwork around first base, the four-time Liga All-Star has been hampered in the past by injuries.

It’s been helpful for Amador to have 3B Alex Liddi in the Jalisco order with him.  The well-traveled Liddi, himself a sizeable 6’4” and 225 pounds, is fourth in the MexPac with a .355 average while whacking 5 homers and driving in 25 runs.  The 2009 California League MVP, Liddi hit .372 in the 2013 World Baseball Classic performer for his native Italy.  He spent eight seasons in the Mariners organization, including three call-ups to Seattle, before bouncing around between four minor league systems the past two years, spending last summer with the Royals’ AA affiliate in Northwest Arkansas.

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