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Mexico brings the best out of Latimore
07/05/2018 11:14 PM ET
American import Quincy Latimore was a dominant force during his time in Australia.
American import Quincy Latimore was a dominant force during his time in Australia. (Ryan Schembri/SMP Images)

A member of Adelaide's inaugural ABL roster in 2010, American Quincy Latimore made a statement with big hits and big plays. Fast forward eight years and he's doing the same for Bravos de Leon in Mexico in front of thousands of fans.

"The crowds depend on where you are playing," Latimore explained.

"Leon's stadium holds around 5,000 and it's the smallest as far as capacity. However they pack it; the fans are great! They get into every game with loud energy, rooting for their team."

Crowds in the Mexican League can number up to 9,000 while Leon used to be the home for former Bite pitcher Derrick Miramontes. Big leaguers Felix Pie, Dan Johnson and Brandon Cunniff are just some of Latimore's teammates in 2018.

Just like his time in Adelaide, Latimore's average sat above .400 for much of the season and during the first half of Leon's campaign he averaged a damaging .344 with 76 hits in 57 games.

Before moving to Mexico he was a staple in the Double-A Eastern League, playing in the Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Detroit and LA Dodgers organisations. While he always knew he had a starting position, the lack of opportunities at Triple-A hurt.

"[Double-A] had its pros and cons," he said, "Having a job and an opportunity to play was most important.

"Having to be in Double-A over and over without a shot to play in Triple-A used to wear on me.

"I really had great times at each place in the league, though, but I would say Harrisburg and Bowie I had great hitting coaches that have helped make me the hitter I am today."

Adelaide also provided plenty of lasting memories with one of the best oddly coming from when he was sidelined with injury.

"I pulled my hamstring down there in my first season and while I was out Brendon Pett, who was a catcher, made one of the best diving catches ever for the last out I believe during the playoffs against the Blue Sox, it was awesome," an enthusiastic Latimore said.

After seeing his own form dip slightly in 2017, Latimore made the journey south and with a greater amount of trust in his own ability he has been playing some of his best baseball at 29.

"I wouldn't say my approach changed, I just know what I'm capable of each time I step into that box," he said.

"I'm able to slow down each at bat now and hit the pitches I want and not swing at so many of the pitches. I trust myself to hit what my eyes see. I didn't always do that."

The second half of the Mexican League has just begun and Leon are aiming for an improved finish after exiting in the first round of finals following the first half's conclusion.

Latimore, a free agent, is ready to keep playing at his best and says that no one should take their own opportunities for granted.

"Always play the game hard because you never know who's watching. Each time you play is an opportunity for someone else to watch you," he said.

"You never know when your last time playing will be so never take playing this game for granted. Love it, enjoy it and have that energy you had as a kid playing Little League. Baseball is the greatest game so go out there and play like it is your last time all the time!"

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.