4 issues to find out about new Crimson Sox infielder Luis Urías

Crimson Sox

The Crimson Sox acquired Urías in a commerce with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier than Tuesday’s deadline.

Latest Crimson Sox acquisition Luis Urias might make an impression this season if referred to as up from Triple-A Worcester. Frank Franklin II/AP Picture

Minutes after the clock struck 6 p.m. on Tuesday’s MLB commerce deadline, the Boston Crimson Sox introduced a transfer.

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The Crimson Sox acquired infielder Luis Urías from the Milwaukee Brewers in trade for Bradley Blalock, a pitching prospect with a 4.27 ERA in 23 video games for Single-A Salem. Following the commerce, the Crimson Sox optioned Urías to Triple-A Worcester.

It was the one transfer that Crimson Sox made on deadline day, but it surely’s one which CBO Chaim Bloom seems happy with.

“We’re fairly excited so as to add him to our combine,” Bloom advised reporters shortly after the commerce deadline. “He’s getting again to who he’s on the plate. Fenway needs to be an excellent match for him.”

On the finish of this season, Urías may have six years of MLB expertise. His profession started with the San Diego Padres earlier than a commerce despatched him to the Milwaukee Brewers, the place he discovered his big-league residence. He’s a affected person, cautious hitter with a bit little bit of pop, and his protection has improved from 2021 to 2022. However what about Urías makes Bloom so enthusiastic about his addition to the Crimson Sox?

His stats this yr are an anomaly.

It’s simple to have a look at Urías’s stats this season and really feel discouraged. In spite of everything, a triple slash of .145/.299/.236 with a 51 OPS+ and a demotion to Triple-A doesn’t precisely depict a harmful man with a bat in his arms. However there’s a legitimate, but unlucky cause for his struggles in 2023. 

Urías tore his hamstring on Opening Day and sat out till June 5. He struggled upon his return and appeared to have misplaced his groove on the plate. The Brewers despatched him to Triple-A Nashville on June 29 to assist him discover it, however he by no means did. His stats of .233/.345/.724 within the minor leagues weren’t sufficient to warrant a big-league comeback, and he remained in Nashville till he was traded.

He definitely is within the midst of a down yr. However Brewers supervisor Craig Counsell stated that Urías’s concern wasn’t that he grew to become a nasty participant, however that his damage appeared to sap his confidence.

“I really feel like the boldness will not be the place perhaps it must be,” Counsell stated, per ESPN. “What comes first—the struggling or the boldness—that’s all the time a tough query to reply, however Luis has been a constant main league hitter. It’s the one factor I feel he’s actually good at doing is simply being actually good at being constant, and we simply haven’t seen that this yr.”

Urías’s prior stats again up Counsell’s claims. When he first grew to become an on a regular basis participant in 2021, Urías averaged .249/.345/.789 and a 112 OPS+ with 75 RBIs and 23 HRs. He missed a while because of damage to start 2022, however picked up proper the place he left off with averages of .239/.335/.404 and a 110 OPS+.

Whereas Urías could also be underperforming this yr, his stats present that he’s able to far more. The Crimson Sox hope {that a} change of surroundings will assist Urías return to his prior type, and that risk inspired Bloom to make a transfer for him.

“We simply thought that in Luis, there’s an intriguing expertise there,” Bloom stated. “It’s a extremely intriguing upside play for us.”

He can play a number of infield positions.

The Brewers primarily used Urías as their on a regular basis third baseman, however noticed constant time enjoying each shortstop and second base as effectively. He has performed 183 profession video games at third, 141 at shortstop and 130 at second base. His protection varies relying on his place, however he can get the job finished in three completely different locations.

Second base seems to be his finest defensive place statistically, or not less than the one the place he makes the least quantity of errors. Out of all 52 profession MLB errors, solely 4 got here from second. As well as, second base is the place Urías has nearly all of his profession putouts and double performs turned, in addition to his highest area share, regardless of it being the place he has performed the least as a major-leaguer.

His relative power at second additionally explains his depressing -11 Outs Above Common in 2021, a yr the place he performed at second significantly lower than the opposite two positions. He performed simply 25 video games at second that season, in comparison with 68 video games for each shortstop and third.

Why is his second base protection so a lot better than the opposite two positions he performs? It may very well be because of its proximity to first base, the place most outs on the diamond occur. Urías’s defensive struggles primarily got here from his subpar arm power, which Statcast ranked within the twenty seventh percentile in 2022. This impacts his throwing means, which makes it tough for him to throw from distant. That’s a cause why almost all of his errors come from the left facet of the sector, and likewise why he thrives at second, the closest place to first base.

Happily for the Crimson Sox, second base is their largest place of want. Trevor Story will come again to Fenway quickly to play shortstop, and Rafael Devers has third base locked up for the following decade. If Urías is named up from Worcester, he’ll be part of Christian Arroyo, Yu Chang and Pablo Reyes in a crowded center infield. But when he returns to his 2021 and 2022 type, he should not have any drawback separating himself as the most effective candidate for the job.

He was a highly-touted prospect.

The San Diego Padres signed Urías as a world free agent in 2019, and he spent his minor league profession accruing a fanbase of baseball scouts and specialists. Baseball America wrote that “Urías has the items of a possible .300 hitter.” One author even noticed some parallels between Yankees nice Derek Jeter.

By 2018, Urías had gained traction as certainly one of San Diego’s premier prospects. MLB.com ranked him the Third-best Padres prospect, simply behind Fernando Tatis, Jr. and McKenzie Gore. Each MLB.com and Baseball America had him as a High-40 prospect within the nation. He made his MLB debut that yr, however a pointy studying curve and accidents saved him from reaching his full potential with the Padres. He confirmed flashes of that potential as a Brewer, and the Crimson Sox hope to unlock extra of it.

His brother performs for a division rival.

Now that Luis is in Boston, a sibling rivalry will quickly start in baseball’s hardest division.

Urías is the youthful brother of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Ramon Urías. The elder Urías has spent his complete MLB profession in Baltimore, even profitable a gold glove as an Oriole in 2022. 

The Crimson Sox already look to take down the Orioles, who at present sit atop of their division. However this heated rivalry has simply gotten hotter, as Urías will now have many possibilities to take down his large brother’s crew and earn bragging rights at household dinners.