Blue Jays: Five Underrated Players To Watch During Spring Training
The final player that I have on this list is one that Jays fans should be familiar with: Richard Urena. Urena, a former Blue Jays farm hen was a highly touted prospect in their system back in the mid-10’s. He was a former top 100 prospect that just couldn’t figure it out offensively at the big league level.
Urena showed flashes of his potential from time to time, but overall looked over matched by big league pitching. He was eventually passed on the shortstop depth chart by Bo Bichette and was DFA’d, claimed by the O’s after the 2019 season. Urena didn’t see any time at the big league level with Baltimore last season but the Jays front office must have seen something they liked from him, whether it was from the alternate site or during his time in the Dominican winter league, to bring him in.
The Jays are going to need a utility player on their roster this season. Right now it seems like that job is going to go to Santiago Espinal, who was serviceable last season both at the dish and in the field. Urena’s advantage over Espinal is that he brings more to the table as he’s a switch hitter, which could be super beneficial to a roster that is right hand dominant, and has plus speed that could be used as a weapon coming off the bench late in games.
Unless the Jays bring in another infielder, the utility job is definitely Espinal’s to lose, but if Urena can show that he is at least a competent hitter during the spring, his other tools may help him claim a roster spot.