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Luis Urías

From BR Bullpen

Luis Fernando Urías Figueroa

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 160 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Luis Urías is an infielder who has played in the majors and for the Mexican national team.

Urías was signed by San Diego Padres scouts Chad MacDonald and Robert Rowley in December 2013. [1] He made his pro debut the next summer with the DSL Padres; after going 1 for 10 with a walk, he moved up to the AZL Padres and hit .310/.393/.355. He was 5th in the Arizona League in average (between Michael Gettys and Steven Mateo) and 7th in OBP (between Mateo and Cody Yount). He made his winter ball debut with the Yaquis de Obregón, hitting .158/.333/.211 in 25 plate appearances. In 2015, he split time between the Fort Wayne Tincaps (.290/.370/.326 in 51 G) and the Tri-City Dust Devils (.355/.487/.357 in 10 G), with a .299 average and .388 OBP on the season. As a utility infielder for the Yaquis that winter, he batted .280/.369/.308.

He had a breakout summer with the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2016, when the teenager produced at a .330/.397/.440 clip and scored 71 runs. He won the California League batting title by .001 over Kyle Petty, was 3rd in OBP (after Drew Ferguson and Petty), was second in hits (154, 5 behind Scott Heineman) and was the only batting title qualifier with more walks (40) than whiffs (36); all this, despite starting the season as the league's youngest player. He was named named the All-Star second baseman, Rookie of the Year and MVP. [2] He also starred in three games for the El Paso Chihuahuas, going 4 for 9 with 5 walks and 6 runs. Baseball America rated him as the league's third-best prospect, after Ryan Castellani and Chris Shaw. [3]

The Sonora native was a late addition to the Mexican national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He went 1 for 6 for the team, his lone hit coming off Tommy Layne, as he backed up Esteban Quiroz at 2B and Luis Cruz at SS. [4]

He was named to the World team for the 2018 Futures Game. On August 28, 2018, he was called up to San Diego to make his major league debut. He hit .208 in 12 games in his first taste of the Show. In spring training in 2019, he was considered the favorite to win the starting shortstop job even if the Padres saw him sliding over to second base in the longer term, because of the presence of another top-ranked shortstop prospect in the organization in Fernando Tatis Jr. However, Tatis was so good in the Cactus League that he won the job outright while Luis went back to the minors to await his next chance. He was called up on April 8th when Tatis missed some time with an injury, but hit just .083 in 11 games and was sent back down before the end of April. His real chance came when Tatis's outstanding rookie season was cut short by an injury. He got to play shortstop regularly starting in late July, hitting .223 in 71 games with 4 homers and 24 RBIs. Following the season, on November 27th, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers alongside P Eric Lauer in return for P Zach Davies and OF Trent Grisham. The Brewers were looking at him to take over the starting shortstop job from Orlando Arcia, whose production with the bat was considered sub-par.

He did not exactly set the world on fire during his first season with the Brewers, the pandemic-shortened 2020, as his OPS+ was just 64 in 41 games, the result of batting .239 without a homer and just 11 RBIs. On the good side, he did appear in the postseason for the first time, playing in one of his team's two losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Wild Card Series and going 1 for 2 with a walk. Still, he started 2021 as the Brewers' regular shortstop, but he again failed to do much with the bat. On May 21st, he was batting just .208 in 44 games when the Brewers swung a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to obtain SS Willie Adames. It appeared that this was the end for Urias as a starter, but he managed to make the best of the situation. Adames was the real deal and began playing at an MVP level as soon as he put on Milwaukee's uniform, but now relegated to filling in at 2B and 3B, Urias also began to hit. By the end of June, he had raised his average to .247. He regressed a bit in July, but had a record-tying day on August 12th when he went 5 for 6 with 3 doubles and 2 homers in a 17-4 beatdown of the Pittsburgh Pirates, tying the major league record for most extra-base hits in one game. His 5 RBIs that day were also a personal best. he finished the season at .249 in 150 games, with 23 homers, 77 runs and 75 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 112. In the postseason, he went 2 for 9 as the Brewers were defeated by the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series.

In 2022, he had another productive season for Milwaukee, finishing with an OPS+ of 109 in 119 games, in spite of a batting average of .239. His 17 doubles, 16 homers and 50 walks compensated for his shortcomings in terms of batting average. However, after suiting up again for Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, he hardly played during the first four months of the 2023 season, batting .145 in 20 games. On August 1st, he was traded by Milwaukee to the Boston Red Sox in return for minor leaguer Bradley Blalock in a deal that went completely under the radar. However, he performed a very rare feat a couple of weeks later when he hit a grand slam in two consecutive at-bats. The first came on August 17th against Robert Garcia in the 7th inning of a 10-7 loss to the Washington Nationals, then after not playing the next day, he hit another slam on August 19th in his first at bat of the game against Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees. No major league players had hit a grand slam in consecutive at-bats since Josh Willingham had done so in the same game in 2009, and to find a Red Sox player to have done so, one had to go back to Jimmie Foxx in 1940. Boston went on to win the game, 8-1, against the struggling Yankees. He hit .225 in 32 games for Boston, to finish with a combined batting line of .194 in 52 games, with 3 homers and 18 RBIs. His two slams for the Sox were his only homers in their uniform, and accounted for 8 of his 13 RBIs.

On November 17, 2023, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Isaiah Campbell.

He is the brother of Ramón Urías.

Notable Achievements[edit]

References[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • A.J. Cassavell: "Sources: Padres to promote Urias today", mlb.com, August 27, 2018. [1]
  • Maria Guardado: "How the Urías brothers rose up the ranks of Mexican baseball", mlb.com, March 9, 2023. [2]
  • Victoria Hernandez (USA Today): "Red Sox infielder Luis Urías makes history with back-to-back grand slams", Yahoo! Sports, August 19, 2023. [3].

Related Sites[edit]