Blue Jays’ Richard Urena proving he belongs

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Xander Bogaerts
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Xander Bogaerts /

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Richard Urena is proving he belongs at the major level due to his impressive play on both sides of the field since being called up on September 01st from New Hampshire.

Richard Urena regressed somewhat offensively in his first full season with the Double-A New Hampshire slashing a very pedestrian .247/.286/.359 line with 5 home runs in 129 games with the Fisher Cats this season. However, with the season ending injury to Troy Tulowitzki no doubt factoring into the equation, the Jays opted to promote Urena as a September call-up.

Urena has looked like a seasoned veteran holding down the shortstop position making tough plays look easy and displaying a strong, accurate arm to first base. Even though Urena only has 2 hits in 13 plate appearances, he has worked the counts effectively and stood tall versus some of the Red Sox big bullpen slingers.

Urena slipped from 4th to 11th on the MLB Top 30 list of Blue Jays prospects as the season progressed in 2017. The shortstop was unable to duplicate his impressive .295/.335/.434 line from 2016 where he also connected for 8 home runs, still a far cry from the 16 he hit the previous season.

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The Blue Jays are definitely giving Urena an adequate audition at shortstop having played the entire 19 innings of last nights in the Blue Jays drawn out walk-off loss to the Red Sox. Urena only managed a single hit in seven trips to the plate but also managed to steal a base in the loss.

Urena could be an effective placeholder at shortstop if the Jays can somewhere find a way to unload Tulo and his massive anchor of a contract in the near future. Urena has played some second base in the minors including a game there with the Jays since his call-up, this may be his eventual calling with shortstop Bo Bichette on the fast track to the majors.

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Regardless of how the rest of the month plays out for Urena, he has asserted himself as a legit major league talent with his strong play with the big club.