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Moose Milligan

Another Urias Thread

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Pretty sure there was another Urias thread made recently but I can't find it.

He closed out July hitting .303 for the month.  23 hits in 76 at bats.  .354 on base percentage, 17 strikeouts, 5 walks.  He's got about as much strength as an '85 Hyundai but the bat to ball skills are looking pretty good.  

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8 minutes ago, ShoelesJoe said:

Given his current OBP I’d move Urias up to the second spot in the order, and drop Hays to 6th or 7th. 

Hays hasn’t looked good for a couple weeks now, so yes.

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55 minutes ago, ShoelesJoe said:

Given his current OBP I’d move Urias up to the second spot in the order, and drop Hays to 6th or 7th. 

Kevin Brown noted during the game that he's steadily been climbing up in the order. With the way he's been swinging, Mullins and Urias could be a decent 1-2 punch here pretty soon.  

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7 hours ago, Philip said:

How’s his glove?

He's a good place holder for the Calvary - er - cavalry and good enough to send your boy Pat packing with full health insurance coverage and a little retirement pay.  Thanks @Jammer7 for your concise summary of those good traits!

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11 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:


Should be able to be a starting second baseman.  Who knows if Jones or Vavra are better and I would rather see Urias stay at SS this year and Jones come up and play second but we will see.  It does seem like we should have good options for second base next years.

But for right now, keep playing him at SS.  See if he gets better.  It would be ideal for him to be passable at SS and play there next year.  Our other options aren’t going to quite be ready yet and we may not have a definitive idea if guys like Henderson and Westburg can stay at SS long term by the end of this season.  

By making Urias that placeholder, it allows them to not spend on the 2022 version of Iglesias/Galvis and allows more time for evaluation.

I agree with keeping Urias at SS, but I’m pessimistic that he’ll get better.   He’s not some 22-23 year old kid, he’s a veteran of the minors and Mexico.   Most probably, he is what he is.    But we may as well give him the chance.  

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

First of all, I’m pretty well convinced that Urias can hit well enough to be a starting middle infielder in the majors.   His hands are pretty quick, his strike zone judgment is pretty good, he’s got some pop, and his contact skills look solid.   

MLB: .294/.362/.429 in 196 PA

Mexico: .312/.398/.465 in 2334 PA

Minors: .268/.353/.423 in 1223 PA

His major league track record is short, and I expect he’ll come down some.   But the profile has been pretty consistent.  His .294 BA is a little higher than his .277 xBA but his .337 wOBA is a little lower than his .349 xWOBA.    I don’t see much reason to think he isn’t a .750 OPS guy in the majors, maybe more, and you’ll certainly take that from a 2B/SS.

Defensively I’m not completely convinced.    6 errors (4 throwing, 2 fielding) in 268 innings (about 30-31 games) at SS this year, and 3 errors (all throwing) at 2B in 106 innings (11-12,games) at 2B.   That would be 30+ errors at SS or 40+ at 2B over a full season.   The advanced metrics this year: 

At SS: -2 Rtot, -3 Rdrs, -3 OAA, +0.8 UZR

At 2B: 0 Rtot, +2 Rdrs, +2 OAA, +0.9 UZR

The sample sizes are small, so looking at his bigger track record in Mexico and the minors:

At SS: .955 fielding% Mexico (283 starts), .954 Minors (25 starts).  Major league average is .970.

At 2B: .981 Mexico (240 starts), .978 Minors (155 games).  Major league average is .981.

Overall, I think the statistical picture is subpar defensive SS, decent defensive 2B.   

Putting numbers aside, it’s pretty clear Urias’ arm is a bit erratic.  I’d also say his range to his left is a bit below average, and I don’t think his “clock”/instincts are up to standard for a starting SS.

All that said, he’s put up 1.2 rWAR/1.2 fWAR in 61 major league games.   That’s certainly good enough to roll with Urias the rest of the season and see how he does with continued regular playing time at SS.    We can move him to 2B next year if we find a better defensive SS.

Overall, a good story from 2021.   



That is quality work, Frobby! I have liked his hit tool since his brief look in 2020. Hyde said it best recently, in that he needed to show he could get the barrel on the ball out front and show he could pull the ball. He has shown that in his return. I love the way he hits the ball to RF. 

Two of his throwing errors that I have seen were balls he appeared to bounce intentionally. Both should have been dug out by Mancini. A good first baseman makes those plays. Things that do not show up in his fielding percentage are his feeds to 2B for a potential DP. Those have been off, and cost the team 3-4 DP’s in the past two weeks. The feeds were good enough to get the out at 2B, and our 2B were not able to complete a DP. Not that Valaika and Leyba do him any favors in the way they turn, but it was clear the feeds were off and made the difference. That might be fixable with more reps. 

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9 hours ago, Moose Milligan said:

Good enough to keep Jones down on the farm, apparently.

Well, based on what I’ve heard about Jones’ defense, that’s not much of an accomplishment.

Based on what I’ve seen he throws about as accurately as Tanner Scott, so that’s a flaw, but I didn’t know what to think about his foot work or his hands. I’m pretty sure he’s just a placeholder, although I don’t know at which position or for whom, I think Gunnar is still going to move to third last I heard.

The detailed replies here are very helpful.

But he’s not the worst guy on our team, so I guess there’s that.

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If Urias is going to have a regular spot on a quality team, it's at second base. But it's fine to have him be the starting SS on the 2021 Orioles, and the same probably goes for the 2022 Orioles. (I still hold out hope that Richie Martin will become a solid ML shortstop, but that longshot seems more and more remote.)

I'd like to see Valaika given some steady time at 2B over the next couple months. His hitting has improved a bit, and he looks much better to me, since the break. He seems to have reduced his swing and his launch angle, which had led to unimpressive shows of warning-track power. And I really don't want to see more of Leyba, who seems to offer nothing positive in the way of offense, defense, speed to pinch run, or versatility. (I think that covers it.)

That brings me to a point I've mentioned before. While it's too early to see what the next good Oriole team will look like, it appears to me that if things work out with the young guys on the Orioles and with the prospects in the system, probably won't be a slugging team and will feature strong but young starting pitching. I hope someone, somewhere, is looking at the possibility of expanding the field of play at Camden Yards, at the cost of a few thousand seats, to be more favorable to a more-multidimensional offense and to talented pitchers trying to build their confidence, potentially helping the team and certainly creating a more exciting brand of baseball for its remaining fans.


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