Blue Jays’ Urena playing his way into the picture
The Blue Jays have a lot of promising middle infield depth in their minor league system including Richard Urena, who has impressed in September.
In a season full of injuries for the Blue Jays, they’ve been particularly hard time at the keystone positions of second base and shortstop. The expected starters were Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis, who will both finish the season on the disabled list. Tulowitzki played in just 66 games, and Travis appeared in only 50.
The club is hopeful that each will return to the fold in 2018, healthy and ready to produce to their respective potentials. However, it’s getting difficult to put much faith in Tulo’s aging body, and Devon Travis has spent more time on the DL than he has on an active roster in his three MLB seasons.
Because of that, you can’t blame fans for looking to the minor league system and dreaming of the potential that exists, especially in the infield picture. Guys like Bo Bichette (shortstop), Vladimir Guerrero Jr (third base), Lourdes Gurriel Jr (shortstop), Logan Warmoth (shortstop), and more represent a bright future as the next generation of Blue Jays infielders.
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Lately they’ve had another leaving a strong impression on the front office and the fan base with Richard Urena. The 21 year old was been a bit lost in the hype of others this year, but is quickly changing the story with the way he’s played at the highest level. He was added when rosters expanded in September, and has been playing well on both sides of the ball.
His slash line sits at .276/.364/.448 in 29 at bats, and he’s collected a home run and two RBI as well. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but he’s looked pretty comfortable at the plate thus far. The switch hitter has also impressed on defence, playing at both shortstop and second base while flashing an impressive glove.
The Dominican born youngster started the season ranked as the #94 prospect by MLB.com, but fell out of the top 100 as the season progressed. He hit .247/.286/.359 in 129 games and 510 at bats in Double A with New Hampshire before being called up, and looks like he’s feel confident at the big league level. The timing couldn’t be a lot better for him either, as the Blue Jays have had several prospects taking big steps forward, including in the middle infield.
He’s likely going to need a little more seasoning in Triple A next year, but Urena has provided enough quality play for the Blue Jays to consider him in their big league picture next year. The club will hope for a healthy campaign from Tulowitzki and Travis in the middle infield, but there is some comfort in knowing Urena could serve as potential depth, which has been crucial over the last three seasons in Toronto.