By Robiel Vega/@robielcuba87
The reigning American League champions, the Houston Astros, were not far behind at the opening of the international signing period and agreed to a contract with 15 free agents, including three Cubans, center fielder Kenni Gómez, just 16 years old, shortstop Alberto Hernández, 17, and right-hander Carlos Espinosa, 20.
Without a doubt, among the trio of Cubans, the most outstanding was Gómez, who was ranked 42nd among the 50 best internationals on MLB.com. This young outfielder, born in Granma and with a height of five feet and eleven inches, signed a contract of 770,000 dollars according to Jesse Sánchez in MLB.com.
Kenni is considered a hitter who knows the strike zone very well, misses a few swings, uses all the ground to connect, and has the added bonus of having good power. On defense, he has speed and a strong, accurate arm, which is ideal for patrolling center field.
Along with Kenni signed shortstop Alberto Hernández from Pino, with a good somatotype, six feet tall and weighing 169 pounds. He hits from both sides of the plate and can also defend third base. He is a good runner and has a very good arm. His signing was finalized with a $950,000 bonus.
Finally, the third chosen was the right-hand pitcher from Camagüey, Carlos Espinosa. The lanky 6-foot-2 pitcher has a top speed of 95 MPH, along with a repertoire of curveballs, sliders, and changeups. He can play as a starter and reliever and his bonus was $480,000.
In this way, the Astros invested 2.2 million dollars of the 5,179,700 they spent on the first day in pure Cuban talent, which represents 42.8% of the total. With these three signatures, there are already more than two dozen Cubans in the franchise, including the three colossi of the first team: Yuli Gurriel, Yordan Álvarez, and Aledmys Díaz.