Luis Urias seems to have gained his confidence and found his sweet swing again during this stint in El Paso.
Luis Urias played just 11 games with the big league Padres this season, struggling mightily to the tune of a .083 average, a .366 OPS and 37.9 percent strikeout rate.
On April 20, he was sent back down to El Paso, where he has been ever since. All he has done in his time in El Paso is bat .342, with 17 home runs and a 1.105 OPS, which is second in all of the Pacific Coast League.
He is in the top 10 in the PCL in most offensive categories.
He has hit like he was personally offended at the demotion. The Padres hinted at several reasons why Urias was sent down and is still not in a major league uniform. His leg kick was throwing off his timing and becoming too busy.
Judging by his swings on Thursday night in Tacoma, that has been fixed. It is less dramatic and more under control. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and a double, hitting the ball hard every time he came to the plate.
Luis Urias can do it all. An opposite field home run his first time up. Now he throws the bat head down for a double just fair down the line. Halfway to the ?! #Padres #EVT @EVT_News pic.twitter.com/8XyR3obbyM
— Nick Lee (@NickLee51) June 21, 2019
Well, it wasn’t a triple. No cycle. BUT Luis Urias has lined balls all over the yard tonight. Smacks this 2-0 fastball up the middle for a single. He is 4-5 with a HR and 2B. It shouldn’t be long now…? #EVT #Padres pic.twitter.com/Lq8Tv84eOR
— Nick Lee (@NickLee51) June 21, 2019
He was tasked in re-finding his elite approach at the plate, which he seemed to lose at the big league level. He has found it again with an 11.3 percent walk rate and an 18.8 percent strikeout rate that only Josh Naylor has beaten.
The Padres also wanted him to show consistency and gain confidence. In now 175 games in Triple-A total, he has hit 26 home runs with a .313 average and a .939 OPS with a strikeout rate under 20 percent.
In June, he is batting .314 with four homers, a .977 OPS and 135 wRC+. He has not hit below .300 in any of the three calendar months he has been with El Paso.
Defensively, he has split time between second base and shortstop, with 32 games at short and 11 games at second base.
At this point, he is toying the Triple-A pitchers. His power numbers have skyrocketed across the board, setting career highs in home runs (17), OPS (1.105) and wRC+ (164). His .333 ISO is also a career high. For a player who is 5’9″ and not even 190 pounds, he has accessed power previously untapped.
Ok now Luis Urias is just playing with Triple-A pitchers. Goes 4-5 with a HR last night, now he perfectly places a bunt for a base hit. What can’t he do?! #EVT #Padres @EVT_News pic.twitter.com/wMWZdNRPvs
— Nick Lee (@NickLee51) June 22, 2019
He once again has established himself as one of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues. MLB Pipeline lists Urias as the 20th-best prospect in all of baseball and the second-best second baseman.
There is nothing more for Urias to do in Triple-A besides put up video game numbers. Fans would prefer those numbers to be put to good use at the big league level. Urias is yet to be given a fair look in the majors, with just 23 games and 82 plate appearances under his belt. Once he finally gets consistent at-bats in San Diego, the baseball world will see just how good of an all-around baseball player Luis Urias is.
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.