First baseman Justin Bour has signed with the Red Devils of Mexico City (Diablos Rojos del México) for the 2022 season, announced the team on December 30th. After playing in the Majors from 2014-19 with the Marlins, Phillies, and Angels, Bour spent 2020 with the Hanshin Tigers. He signed a minor league deal in March 2021 to return stateside with the Giants, but he moved to KBO’s LG Twins after 33 Triple-A games.
The 18-team Mexican League was founded in 1925 and became part of Minor League Baseball thirty years later, and was eventually considered a Triple-A league. The Mexican League’s longtime connection ended in 2021 when MLB re-organized the minors. Bour joins several players with MLB experience on the Diablos Rojos’ roster, including Arquimedes Caminero, Jumbo Diaz, Roberto Osuna, JC Ramirez, Yangervis Solarte, and Jorge Cantu. Diablos manager Jorge del Valle noted that Bour brings similar power to that of Jon Singleton, who recently signed a minor league deal with the Brewers.
Bour, 33, was drafted by the Cubs in the 25th round out of George Mason University back in 2009. He remains the most successful Major Leaguer from that Virginia college. Bour joined the Marlins in the 2013 Rule 5 draft. He became the Marlins’ primary first baseman from 2015-18, finishing fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting with a 23-homer debut in ’15. Bour popped 83 home runs for the Marlins in that span and ranks 12th in franchise history. A left-handed hitter, Bour generally needed to be platooned against southpaws but still owns a 123 wRC+ against righties in his 559-game MLB career.