Assessing Luis Urias’ First Two Weeks With the Padres
San Diego Padres’ second baseman of the future, Luis Urias went down with a hamstring injury on Tuesday, and early indications are not good for the rest of the 2018. With his season likely over, let’s take a look at his first few weeks in the big leagues.
Luis Urias was in the everyday lineup for the Padres and it brought a level of excitement that is hard to bring to a team over 30 games below .500 in September.
I found myself tuning in to every Luis Urias at bat, even if I am out and about.
In 11 games, he certainly has not set the world on fire but he has provided some exciting moments and has showed why he is the Padres second-best hitting prospect and second baseman of the present and future.
In total, he has an underwhelming .205/.265/.364 slash line with a 70 wRC+. He is striking out at an 18.4% clip, which is slightly higher than his minor league average, but not horrible. He will work more walks as he gets more comfortable at the plate.
He made his major league debut on August 28 and went 0-for-4, but it was not without excitement and buzz at Petco Park. He did draw a walk and Andy Green jokingly said they should keep that ball since his patience and knowledge of the strike zone is what makes Urias unique.
The plate discipline is apparent and it will only get better. He is swinging at pitches outside of the zone 28.7% of the time, which, over a whole season, it would be the second-best on the team behind Travis Jankowski’s 21.1%.
Although the numbers have not been astounding, he has hit two home runs that injected this fanbase with excitement, especially his first one on a Friday night in brown at home.
Perhaps the best part of this story is that the fan who caught that home run was wearing a crisp, new, brown jersey bearing Urias’ name.
Meant to be.
Nice snag of @LuisUrias03' first big league HR, @vinnysouza207! #PadresWin pic.twitter.com/c0JYuxN51I
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 1, 2018
Urias also homered in his most recent game in Cincinnati on Sunday, aiding the Padres to a 7-6 victory.
LUIS. URÍAS. NO. DOUBTER.
Tale of the tape: 4️⃣3️⃣4️⃣ feet. @Padres jump out to a 4-0 lead!#LetsGoPadres | #Padres pic.twitter.com/vZESCKqVTK
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) September 9, 2018
Another number to keep in mind as Urias works to find his footing in the major leagues is his abnormally low BABIP (batting average on balls in play), which is at .206, with the usual average around .300. Urias’ BABIP in the minor leagues usually was well over .330. The hits are going to fall and fall in bunches.
Urias’ ground ball rate in Triple-A was 49.1% with his line drive rate at 21.5%. Those numbers are 62.9% and 14.3% respectively in his short time in the big leagues, both of those are way outside of the league average. Those should even out soon.
Urias is still only 21 years old after all. His elite-level approach and patience at the plate will play dividends soon.
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.
A little guy with LD stroke. OK runner and defender. Oh yea someone will say Altuve. Not.
Altuve was never in the top 100 prospects. He’s always had more power and less walks than Urias. Very different players.
Altuve was a steals, good power/defense for his size and great AB machine.
Urias is a OBP/walk machine, ok power, great defense and phenomenal plate discipline.
They play the position very differently. If he blossoms like we hope, his OBP will make up for low slugging and end up being great. Altuve is the only Altuve, just like Trout is the only Trout.