Veteran first baseman Justin Bour has been on the move a lot recently including a brief stop with the SF Giants organization in 2021 but he has a new home for 2022. The Red Devils of the Mexican League announced that they have inked the slugger to a contract for next season.
SF Giants: Veteran first baseman signs with the Mexican League
Bour was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 25th round of the 2009 draft out of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He was plucked away by the Miami Marlins in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft and debuted with the club in 2014.
In parts of five seasons with the Marlins, the left-handed bat slashed .262/.346/.470 (123 OPS+) with 83 home runs, 272 RBI, and 182 runs scored. He has quickly become one of the more successful players to come out of the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, which is the same draft where Eugenio Vélez was discovered. I am legally obligated to make at least one Vélez reference every year by the way.
Of course, the 33-year-old first baseman did a lot of his damage in a Marlins uniform against the Giants. In a three-game series in July of 2015, Bour slammed three home runs, driving in seven runners, on the way to sweeping the series.
The Philadelphia Phillies traded for Bour midway through the 2018 season but he struggled to find his footing, posting a .643 OPS in 54 plate appearances. His struggles continued in a brief stint with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019.
Since then, Bour has traveled overseas where he joined the Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league before joining the Giants organization for a brief stint in 2021. The Giants reeled in the first baseman on a minor league pact but this did not include an invite to spring training.
He was assigned to Triple-A to start the season where he slashed .213/.346/.426 with six home runs, 17 RBI, and 18 runs scored in 130 plate appearances. He was released in June so he could sign with the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) to finish the year.
He will join a Red Devils team that posted a 41-23 record and finished in first place in the south division last year. That team featured a pair of former Giants in Gorkys Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte. The Red Devils had a quality offense in 2021, and they are adding a potent bat in Bour to help carry over a strong finish last year into next season.