Mid-Season Dirty Thirty-Five: Prospect #21

Since this is the mid-season write-up, it's just a quick overview of the player. When we get to the preseason re ranking in the offseason, they'll be a lot more involved.


Stats are current as of 8/4/2019.


All write-ups were published during all-star week.


Prospect #21: UTIL Ramon Urias


Memphis Redbirds

Signed out of Mexico in March of 2018

Age 25




It's been a tumultuous year for the Memphis Redbirds, injury-wise. I don't have the exact number, but at one point, everyone on their roster was on the IL. Urias has been on the Memphis IL since June 9th.

You'll remember Urias from the impressive first impression that he made early on in spring training. He hit the first home run of spring for the Cardinals, and he continued to hit until he didn't anymore (Awful. I am awful at this). If I remember correctly, I think he had a nagging injury that derailed his spring. Don't quote me on that. This is the kind of fact checking that happens when I go full stream of conscience. Either way, he was slated to start the season at Memphis and, as a member of the 40-man roster, it seemed like he'd find his way to the majors sooner rather than later.


Unfortunately, Urias got off to a brutal AAA start. Over 80 April plate appearances, Urias hit 209/329/373 with five doubles and two home runs. He was taking walks, and he wasn't striking out all that much, but he was often behind on pitches and swinging defensively from his heels. 103 plate appearances during May saw his power all but evaporate, as he only hit three doubles over those plate appearances. He was getting on base more, and working the count more effectively - to the tune of a .350 OBP - but it was at the expense of his pop. This trend continued until his IL stint, too.

So, with that drop in pop, how is he the #22 prospect in the organization? Well, partially because the organization is weaker than it's been in years. But it's also because the pop is still in there. His approach and understanding of the strike zone seems to have taken a strong step forward in 2019, and if he can combine that approach with the slug that he's shown in the past, then you really have an interesting utility option.

I've said it a ton, but Urias is best suited for second base. He's solid at third and fine at short, but he's best suited for second. I'd also go so far as to suggest as little time at short as possible, although he isn't Yairo Munoz level bad at short. It's just his weakest position of the three that he plays in the infield.

I'm anxious to see what the rest of the season looks like for Urias once he gets healthy. As a member of the 40-man, I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the Cardinals' September roster, if healthy.


UPDATE:

Urias is back with Memphis after working his way through a rehab assignment. He's been fine, but it's time for him to get hot. He's also playing a little first base for Memphis. That's fun and weird!

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Kyle Reis