From BR Bullpen
Osmani Urrutia Ramírez (Señor .400)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 229 lb.
Osmani Urrutia had a run of five straight batting titles in the Cuban National League in the early 21st Century. A mainstay of the Cuban national team, Urrutia won one MVP award in the National Series. He is the cousin of Ermidelio Urrutia, a former national team star.
Urrutia debuted professionally with Las Tunas in the 1993-1994 Cuban Serie Nacional season. He hit .313/~.333/.500 for Cuba in the 1999 World Port Tournament. In the 2000-2001, he won his first batting crown with a .431 mark. He played for the Cuban national team in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, going 1 for 13. In the 2001 World Port Tournament, he batted .268/~.268/.317 but led the team with 9 RBI.
In the 2001-2002 Cuban Serie Nacional, the Las Tunas flyhawk hit .408 to lead the loop. the next season, he posted the top average with a .423 figure; Kendry Morales was second at .391. Urrutia was much better in his second trip to the World Cup, hitting .304/.385/.652 in the 2003 Baseball World Cup with 8 RBI in 8 games. He played for Cuba in the 2003 Pan-American Games as well.
Urrutia set the Cuban National League record for batting average in 2003-2004 with a .469 mark in 258 AB. He tied Loidel Chapellí and Yosvani Peraza for the lead in RBI (67) and just missed a Triple Crown as his 16 homers were three behind leader Reinier Yero. He broke Pedro Luis Rodríguez's 16-year-old record for batting average in a Serie Nacional. He won the MVP award for his excellent season.
The right fielder hit .333/.353/.424 in the 2004 Olympics. In the 2004-2005 Cuban Serie Nacional season, he won his fifth straight batting championship with a .385 average. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, Urrutia hit .387/.441/.452, coming close to the tourney's top 10 average and helping Cuba win yet another international crown.
In 2005-2006, Urrutia led the league in hits (135) and intentional walks (27), batting .425/~.509/.616 and fielding .987 in right field. His run of batting championships was snapped by Michel Enríquez, who hit .447. Urrutia still finished second. His .371 career average through that season was best in league history, 3 points ahead of Omar Linares.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the 29-year-old outfielder hit .345/.387/.449 with 7 RBI in 8 games. During the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, Urrutia batted .464/.467/.607 as Cuba's DH and was fourth in the tournament in average. In the qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics, Urrutia hit .394/.444/.636. Urrutia's batting line in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games was .350/.481/.400 to help Cuba take home Gold.
During the 2006-2007 Cuban Serie Nacional campaign, Urrutia hit .371/~.389/.497 for his sixth batting title and was error-free in right field.
In the 2007 Pan-American Games, Urrutia batted .417/.462/.500; he was 1 for 8 going into the finals, when the Cuban DH was 4 for 4 in a key victory over the USA for their 10th straight title in that tournament.
Urrutia hit a walk-off homer against Rich Thompson in Cuba's first game in the 2007 Baseball World Cup to prevent an Australia upset. Overall, he batted .233/.324/.433 as Cuba's DH as they finished second, the first time in decades they had not won Gold.
Urrutia failed to come close to a batting title in 2007-2008 season, hitting .364/.453/.547. He tied Alfredo Despaigne for 7th in average, his lowest finish in at least 8 seasons, 34 points behind leader Yoandy Garlobo. Urrutia faded to .312/.398/.474 in 2008-2009 and announced his retirement at the young age of 32.
Primary Sources: Defunct IBAF site, World Baseball Classic site, 2005 Baseball World Cup website, Federacion Cubana de Beisbol Aficionado website, 2007 Pan-American Games, List of Cuban baseball families, Central American and Caribbean Games