Luis Juárez (minors03)
Luis Felipe Juárez Díaz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 176 lb.
He debuted with the Sultanes de Monterrey in 2009, going six for 16 with a double, homer and five RBI. In 2010, he was 3 for 15 with two walks for Monterrey. He made his winter debut with the Águilas de Mexicali, hitting .222/.250/.347 while backing up Noé Muñoz at catcher. In 2011, he batted .289/.324/.464 for Monterrey, third-string behind Humberto Cota and Adan Amezcua at catcher. In the winter, he hit .205/.267/.372 for Mexicali.
In the summer of 2012, Luis posted a .295/.361/.443 batting line, now backing up Robinson Cancel as the Sultanes' backstop. In the winter, he hit .303/.313/.485 for Mexicali, backing up Geronimo Gil. He split Monterrey's catching job in 2013. He hit .296/.328/.440, fielding .992 with only one passed ball and threw out 39% of those who tried to steal. In the winter campaign, he fell to .209/.263/.330 for the Águilas.
The Sinaloa native only played two games for Monterrey in 2014 (1 for 1, BB), primarily being on the reserve list. He hit .267/.333/.382 for Mexicali in 2014-2015; he was no longer a full-time catcher, also seeing action at 1B and LF and presumably DH. He hit .255/.325/.330 for the 2015 Sultanes, backing up now at C, 1B and LF. His batting line in the winter season was .296/.370/.389. Reinforcing the Venados de Mazatlán for the 2016 Caribbean Series, he was 1 for 4 with a walk and a run as they won the title.
In 2016, Luis hit .258/.350/.377. In the winter, he was outstanding, producing at a .364/.433/.545 rate for Mexicali with 19 doubles in 57 games. He won the Mexican Pacific League batting title (.017 over Leandro Castro), led in OBP (.014 better than Chris Roberson), was second in slugging (.008 behind C.J. Retherford), led in OPS (66 ahead of Retherford) and was fourth in doubles. He did not get the MVP, which went to José Amador. He remained sharp in the 2017 Caribbean Series, going 7 for 19, with one run. He tied Jose Castillo, Ronnier Mustelier and Carlos Benítez for fifth in the Series in hits and was 9th in average. Against the Tigres de Aragua, he started the winning rally in the bottom of the 9th with a hit off Pedro Rodríguez. In Mexicali's 1-0 loss in the finals to the Criollos de Caguas, he was part of Mexico's closest bid to score, singling to open the 8th against Andrés Santiago. He advanced on a bunt and was initially called safe at third on a grounder but the call was overturned on appeal by Puerto Rico.
Riding his fine winter, Juárez was a late addition to the Mexican national team for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was one of Mexico's top performers, going 3-for-5 (only Esteban Quiroz had a better average) but they were eliminated in round one, outhitting the team's five hitters with MLB experience, including Adrian Gonzalez. Luis's last hit had the potential to be a big one - in the 9th inning against Venezuela, needing one more run to avoid elimination, he singled off Jose Alvarez but was stranded.