Japhet Isidro Amador
(Gigante de Mulegé)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 310 lb.
Power-hitting first baseman Japhet Amador has played in the minor leagues since 2007. He won a home run and an RBI title in AAA.
He began his career in 2007 with the Petroleros de Minatitlan, hitting only .200/.343/.218 as a backup to Shamar Almeida. In 2008, he was 9 for 34 with two doubles, a homer and a walk, backing up Sharnol Adriana among others at 1B. He played for Minatitlan (.331/.396/.572, 16 HR, 57 RBI in 76 G) before moving to the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz (.235/.292/.431 in 28 G) in 2009.
That year, he hit .306/.369/.536 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 104 games, while fielding .995. He tied Edgar Quintero, Javier Robles and Luis Terrero for 6th in the Mexican League in home runs. He and ERA co-leader Juan Pablo Oramas split the Mexican League Rookie of the Year award.
In the winter of 2009-2010, he batted .270/.391/.530 with 8 HR in 44 games for the Algodoneros de Guasave. Veracruz dealt him to the Diablos Rojos del Mexico for Francisco Cordova, Ricardo Rincón, Rolando Acosta and Efren Espinoza in 2010, he hit .366/.448/.615 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 79 games. He was 5th in average (between Iván Terrazas and Jolbert Cabrera), 8th in OBP (between Luis Garcia and Sandy Madera), 2nd in slugging (.015 behind Madera) and 3rd in OPS (after Madera and Rubén Rivera). In the winter, he hit .299/.348/.475 with 7 homers in 51 games for Guasave.
He signed with the New York Mets and was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones but was loaned back to the Diablos Rojos in 2011 and never played in the Mets chain. He hit .376/.440/.664 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI in 89 games, placing on the LMB leaderboard in average (third behind Bárbaro Cañizares and Luis Terrero), OBP (10th), slugging (4th, between Mario Valenzuela and Rivera), OPS (5th, between Valenzuela and Rivera), homers (tied for 8th with Refugio Cervantes), RBI (7th) and total bases (233, 8th). With Guasave in 2011-2012, he produced at a .280/.336/.516 with 14 homers and 46 RBI in 63 games. He was 7th in the Mexican Pacific League in slugging (between Issmael Salas and Jesse Gutierrez), tied Carlos Valencia for 4th in home runs and was 5th in RBI.
In 2012, also with the Diablos Rojos (being outrighted back to Mexico out of the Mets system), he slumped to .251/.351/.459 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI in 81 games. In the winter, he hit .286/.380/.550 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 66 games for the Algodoneros. He tied for third in the LMPB in dingers (behind Gutierrez and Cory Aldridge), was 7th in walks (35), was second in RBI (13 shy of Cañizares), was 6th in slugging (between Aldridge and Gutierrez) and ranked 7th in OPS (between Aldridge and Jon Weber).
The hulking player began 2013 with the Diablos Rojos and hit .368/.419/.693 with 36 home runs and 121 RBI in 104 games. He was 8th in the Mexican League in average (between José Castillo and Juan Miranda), was second in slugging (51 points shy of Terrero), ranked third in OPS (after Terrero and Miranda), was second in home runs (one behind MVP Ruben Mateo), was third in total bases (277, behind Cañizares and Mateo) and led in RBI (two ahead of Mateo). He was named LMB Comeback Player of the Year. Among all minor leaguers, he was 5th in home runs and led in RBI. He and Leo Heras were sent to the Houston Astros in an undisclosed transaction in mid-August and he hit .302/.302/.302 with two RBI in 10 games for their Triple-A club, the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He then batted .284/.286/.507 and tied for fourth in the Arizona Fall League with four homers for the Peoria Javelinas. With Guasave, he batted only .209/.273/.333 in 36 games to wrap up a busy year.
Amador opened 2014 in spring training with the Astros; he would have been the heaviest player in major league annals, surpassing Walter Young (140 kg to 138), if he had made the team. He began 2014 with the RedHawks, but hit only .214/.258/.286 in 7 games. The Astros sent him back to the Mexican League in late April and he rejoined the Diablos Rojos. He hit .309 with 14 homers and 82 RBIs in 87 games for the Red Devils, then had an even better year in 2015, when he hit .346/.436/.742 with 21 doubles and 41 homers, scoring 84 runs and driving in 117. he finished 16 homers ahead of his closest competitor and was named the circuit's MVP. He had a three-homer game on June 19th against the Piratas de Campeche, and set a league record with 7 homers in 5 games. He continued to crush the ball while playing for the Charros de Jalisco in the Mexican Pacific League in 2015-16, leading the league with 14 long balls and giving him a total of 55 homers during the calendar year, more than any other professional player.
- Michael Clair: "Nobody hit more home runs in 2015 than ... Japhet Amador?", Cut 4, mlb.com, January 13, 2016. 
- 2014 Astros Media Guide
- El Universal article on Amador