Back in 2016, a teenaged Luis Urias was given a brief opportunity to play with the El Paso Chihuahuas.
It was the highest level of baseball the young Mexican player had played in the United States at that point in his career and he tore it up in his limited playing time. Urias had four hits, five walks, a stolen base, a home run, and three RBI in just nine at-bats in Triple-A. It is unclear why the Sonora native was not given another opportunity in El Paso in 2016 or 2017 but he will get his chance back at the Triple-A level in 2018.
The El Paso Chihuahuas just released their 2018 roster and the 20-year-old middle infielder was included. The team from Texas will start their season this Thursday, April 5 in Las Vegas, then will have their first home game of the season on April 10 against the Salt Lake Bees. The game against the Angels’ affiliate will be one that should bring great memories to Luis Urias.
The top prospect hit his lone home run with El Paso against the Bees on July 10, 2016, just seven days after his 19th birthday. The solo shot came off a pitcher with MLB experience in A.J. Achter, and the Mexican infielder will look to replicate these type of at-bats this year. Urias had a very productive 2017 and many expect the 20-year-old to reach the major league at some point this season. Urias hit .296 with three home runs and 38 RBI in 118 games in Double-A San Antonio and kept that consistency in the Arizona Fall League. The Sonora native hit .315 with nine RBI and also had two triples and five doubles with Peoria.
Urias had his best spring training ever in 2018 as he hit .286 with three RBI, five doubles, and five walks in just 28 at-bats. The promising talent has vision, a good hitting ability, some pop to him, and underrated speed that will only get better. The young Mexican player also brings versatility to the table as he can play at shortstop, second base, and third base. Second base seems to be the position that is destined for him in this San Diego Padres’ franchise, but it is refreshing to know that he can handle other positions in the infield.
There are high expectations for Luis Urias in 2018 as he is ranked as the 32nd best prospect in the major leagues by Baseball America and was also ranked as the second-best second base prospect in the majors per MLB Pipeline. The talent and progression the 20-year-old has shown have been phenomenal and Padres’ fans should be excited about the possibility of another Mexican star in the infield. Adrian Gonzalez broke records for the franchise and brought joy to Friars’ faithful, and Urias is capable of making a similar impact in years to come.
The San Diego Padres are currently still in a rebuilding phase and are not set to have a successful season. But the storyline of the year will be the progression of young players within the system, like Luis Urias, that have potential to bring San Diego its first World Series title in the near future.