Amaral didn’t reach the big leagues until he was 29, but he had staying power once he got there, forging a solid career as a utilityman with the Mariners and Orioles. Amaral began his pro career as a middle infielder and was versatile enough to play most positions in the majors, but was converted to a full-time outfield role in spring training of 1995.
A right-handed slap hitter who connected for only 11 home runs in 727 major-league games, Amaral was valued for his ability to play all three outfield positions equally well and for the speed that enabled him to steal 46 bases from 1995 to 1996 while getting caught just eight times. In only two years did he play in as many as 100 games or collect as many as 300 at-bats, but he posted his two highest batting averages (.290 in 1993 and .292 in 1996) in those seasons.
After spending his first eight big-league seasons in Seattle, Amaral signed as a free agent with Baltimore in December 1998. He began the 2000 season with a sore back and was released by the Orioles in July after a mid-season stint on the DL, thanks in part to the emergence of the much younger Luis Matos.