After a brief hiccup, San Diego Padres prospect Luis Urias is back to his old ways down in El Paso.
San Diego Padres fans have been chomping at the bit this season to see prized prospect Luis Urias get the call to the major leagues. After struggling to make contact through the month of May, Urias has found his groove at the plate, again.
Recently named as a participant in the MLB Future’s Game next weekend (joining Fernando Tatis, Jr and Buddy Reed as representatives from the Padres), Urias is on a current six-game stretch in which he has recorded 11 hits and drawn five walks. He’s hitting .375 over his last ten games and has raised his batting average from .254 (on June 8th) to .279 in 25 games.
The most appealing aspect of Urias and his performance in El Paso is his increased walk-rate in 2018. Urias posted a 12.9% walk rate in AA San Antonio last season and, believe it or not, he’s increased that number this year, drawing a walk in 13.9% of his plate appearances. His 50 walks are the second most in the Pacific Coast League.
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The 20% strikeout rate and up-and-down batting average aren’t much of an issue, considering he’s only 21 and is the youngest player in the Pacific Coast League. With a .388 on-base percentage and the ability to deposit the baseball all over the field (38% pull-side, 38% opposite-field), Urias is knocking at the doors of Petco Park.
So, when does he join the major league roster? Since he will be playing in the Future’s Game, don’t expect that call-up to happen over the next week. Urias will have the chance to flash his tools in front of anxious crowds at the AAA All-Star game and Future’s Game over the next few days.
Even if Jose Pirela is moved at the trade deadline, that doesn’t mean Urias will automatically get the call to come to San Diego. With no urgency to gain positioning in a playoff race, don’t be surprised to see Carlos Asuaje get a few weeks of full-time second base duties if Pirela is dealt.
Fans want Urias now, and deservedly so. While there’s never a “sure thing” when it comes to prospects, Urias is clearly the most polished and major league ready of them all. Come September, he will be here.
The AAA All-Star game will be played July 11th in Columbus, Ohio. As for the MLB Futures Game, that will take place on July 15th at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.