Yulieski Gurriel

Born: 6/9/1984
Height: 6'0
Weight: 190
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent (Cuba) on July 16, 2016 (HOU).

Most Recent Stats at Time of Debut
CURRENT SEASON STATS: .250 with two homers, 14 RBIs and four doubles in 15 games among the Gulf Coast League (Rookie), Lancaster (High A), Corpus Christi (Double-A) and Fresno (Triple-A).

Info & MLB Debut Date
Recalled from Fresno August 21 when INF Tyler White was sent down.
MLB Debut Date: 8/21/2016

Debut Details
August 21, in a 5-3 win over the Orioles. The starting DH, he batted sixth and went 1-for-2 before being removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. In his first big league at-bat in the second inning, he singled to center field with two outs against starter Yovani Gallardo. In the fourth, he drew a two-out walk. In the fifth, he grounded out for the third out of the inning. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Tony Kemp in the eighth inning.

Player Notes
Gurriel, whose name has been alternately spelled “Gourriel” (we are using the spelling that MLB uses for him), didn’t take long to make it to the bigs after Houston signed the heavily-pursued international free agent to join recently-promoted phenom Alex Bregman, adding two of the most vaunted bats in the system to the lineup as the Astros make their last stab at a post-season berth. Bregman was recalled on July 25, and the pair’s name has been spoken together frequently in the past month since Gurriel inked with the Astros. In fact, there could be another Gurriel in the fold before too long, as his brother, Lourdes, 10 years younger, also defected from Cuba and recently became eligible to sign as a free agent. As of this writing, he remained unsigned but many believe the Astros have the advantage by virtue of already having big brother in the fold. Gurriel, though 32 years old and no longer an “up and comer,” was one of the most feared power hitters in Cuba for more than a decade, hitting a combined .335 in 15 pro seasons, mostly for his hometown team in Sancti Spiritus (12 years), but also over three seasons with Industriales as well as significant time with Yokohama in Japan in 2014. He topped the 20-homer mark six times, with his best season coming in 2009 when he hit .363 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs in just 89 games for Sancti Spiritus. He becomes, technically, the 10th “rookie” on the Astros this season, after signing a 4.5-year deal for $47.5 million a few months after his February defection. His signing and promotion may be viewed as a “last call for fall” as, at the time of his call-up, the Astros sat in third place in the American League West at 63-60, nine games out of first place, and four-and-a-half games out of the Wild Card race in the AL.

2080 Notes
You can read our international scouting expert Dave DeFreitas’ report on Gurriel here.