Luis Urias

Position: 2B
Level: High A
Affiliate: Lake Elsinore Strom
League: Pacific Coast League
Age: 19 yrs, 0m
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 185
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as international free agent December 27, 2013 (SDP)

Prospect Spotlight

Urias may be one of the more underrated prospects currently in Single A ball. Much has been made about the players that Padres GM A.J. Preller has moved in and out since taking over in 2014, but there has been little celebration surrounding the Mexican-born Urias. In his first season at the High A level, all he has done is hit at a .319 clip, with more walks than strikeouts (18:17), and a .389 OBP. He has a simple swing with a level plane, and he does a very good job keeping the barrel in the hitting zone. He doesn’t wow you with his bat speed, but he has feel for the barrel, and an approach that sees him using the big part of the field. He has an extreme ground ball rate, which shows me that he understands his game and takes what he is given, not trying to do too much. He looks very comfortable hitting with two strikes and even when fooled, he does a good job keeping his hands back. His small frame is underwhelming, as there is not a great deal of physical projection there; but he is only just 19 years old and will get stronger, so I see him having the ability to drive the gaps on a consistent basis in the future.

There is smoothness to his actions on the defensive side as well. He has not been tested beyond routine plays in my two looks to this point, but has shown quick transfers on double play turns with average arm strength. Like his double play partner Guerra, Urias has tremendous body control and agility; he comes in well on slow rollers and looks very comfortable throwing with accuracy from angles. He runs just OK (usually in the 4.28-4.37 second range), but doesn’t have great instincts as a base stealer, and he needs a couple steps to get to full speed. He stole eight bags in 2015, but was caught 13 times, and so far in 2016 he has six steals and has been caught 11 times. That said, he is much better underway and goes 1st-to-3rd quite well. Overall, the Padres have good reason to be excited about this kid. I think he projects to be an offensive second baseman that will be able to hit towards the top of the lineup and be a big on-base guy for them going forward.