Richard Urena

Position: SS
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: New Hampshire Fisher Cats
League: Eastern League
Born: 02/26/1996 (Age: 26)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185
B/T: Both / Right
Acquired: Signed as non-drafted free agent 7/3/12 (TOR)

Prospect Spotlight

The switch-hitting Urena is in his second season playing at the Double-A level, and he’s been struggling offensively for the Fisher Cats, barely hitting over the Mendoza line with a .205/.267/.280 slash line through 147 plate appearances, a far cry from his .266/.282/.395 line at the same level in 2016 (over 132 PA’s). But he is still young for the level, and there’s enough bat speed and potential to project that he’ll figure things out as the season progresses. He presently lacks quality plate discipline at this time and is prone to giving away at-bats by expanding the zone. He has only been switch-hitting for the past four years, and he shows quick, loose hands along with a quick bat, and gets the barrel out with quick wrists from both sides of the plate, but overall he looks more comfortable hitting from the left side. There’s some loft to the left-handed swing with plus raw power that projects to a future average power grade, and overall his hit tool projects as average at maturity. He’ll need to stay closed from both sides of the plate and not leak to develop a more consistent swing, and to keep the barrel in the zone for a more extended period.

His defense is currently ahead of his offense. At the six-spot, he shows quick-but-soft soft hands with good fielding actions and overall plus potential at the position. His footwork is solid, and he shows agility, with good first-step quickness and plus range who can get to the 5/6 hole and make the throws thanks to his double-plus arm strength. His throws have good carry and accuracy, and he can throw both throw on the run, and from any angle. His speed is average, and it plays better when underway, and he was slow out of the box in this view from the left side (4.34 seconds from home to first base).

Urena is starting to look fully mature physically, and he has added some extra strength since my 2016 views. While he has a ways to go with the hit tool, he still projects as an average hitter with average power, and he’ll be a plus defender at a premium position. His hit tool will be the determining factor as to his ultimate major league role. He has a ceiling of a Role 60, plus shortstop with the potential to make an All-Star team or two if the bat comes around. His floor is that of a Role 50 major-league-average regular if the hit tool doesn’t fully mature, but his realistic role is right in the middle for me – a Role 55, above-average regular player.