The Padres Should Call Up Luis Urías Now

Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/El Paso Chihuahuas

Credit: MiLB

The San Diego Padres’ second base job is currently a revolving door of fill-ins.

Carlos Asuaje currently has the job, but has done little to inspire confidence with a .196/.271/.299 slash line. Though he is coming off a year in which he went .270/.334/.362, those numbers don’t exactly jump off the page as elite. Though Jose Pirela, .254/.314/.341, has spent time at the position, he is not the long-term answer at second base for the Padres. That title should go to El Paso Chihuahuas second baseman Luis Urias.

The middle infielder has become a fan favorite and has yet to see a pitch in a Major League regular season game.

The diminutive Urías has won over the fanbase with his ability to make solid contact and get on base. In his brief spring training stint this season, Urías showed exactly just what he could do, hitting .286 with a .394 OBP, an impressive appearance for a 20-year-old in his first MLB spring. But it’s more than that; it’s what he has done at every level of the Minor Leagues that tells you he is ready for the show.

In 1,847 Minor League appearances, Urías has walked (195) more times than striking out (175), showing his tremendous skill of plate discipline. In fact, this is the first year that he has more strike outs (15) than walks (14) since 2015, when he was a 17-year-old playing in Fort Wayne. He has a Minor League career OBP of .398. Eric Hosmer, the Padres’ big free agent signing this fall, has a career .344 OBP. This year, his first time through Triple-A besides a small sample size in previous years, he is getting on base at an astounding rate of 42% of the time.

As impressive as his plate discipline is, his bat is the reason he is Major League-ready.

His career Minor League batting average is .310 with an OPS of .792. To put that in perspective, Wil Myers‘ career OPS is .768, and he is a guy that has a more traditional power stroke, compared to Urías, who is a gap-to-gap, line drive-type hitter. Urías is never going to hit over 30 home runs at Petco or in the Major Leagues, but combine his ability to get on-base with his ability to hit 30 doubles in a year and you have a real contributor with the bat.

Any questions about Urías’ glove have been answered after he made a switch to shortstop last year. He showed that not only could he handle the position, but he exceeded expectations there. This clearly would not be his position with the Padres, as second base is where he belongs, but it’s a nice piece to add to the resume. With the Padres not having a clear backup at short, it is nice to have a guy like that who can contribute at either spot and not have somebody like Christian Villanueva, who made his fourth error already this year, be your “backup” shortstop. This also gives the Padres some flexibility in making sure the right-handed hitter gets a full slate of at-bats.

What about service time? Well that has come and gone, as the April 11th deadline is long in the rear view mirror. That basically means that any time from this point on, this year basically does not count towards Urías’ contract with the Padres, giving them an extra year of control on him.

At this point, there is no reason not to call up the young infielder. He is going to make his debut anyway this year, why not pull the trigger now? Give this phenom, and arguably our best prospect, the majority of the season to see the speed of the Major Leagues. If the Padres truly expect to compete in the coming years, they need to give Urías the same opportunity that they are currently giving Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi. They need to start calling on some of these young players that have proven they can play at the other levels.

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Patrick Cusick
Since he was a little kid he wanted to be one of those guys at the game who had the headset on, listening to the Colonel and Uncle Teddy, he has grown out of that, but the love is still there. Padres' coverage will be biased at times, but mostly an honest dissection of the team he loves.

9 thoughts on “The Padres Should Call Up Luis Urías Now

  1. Why is Urias playing SS now and they called up a second baseman from extended spring training?What is up with that?

  2. No doubt the Pads need to call up more players. I mean “baseball players”. This “team” just doesn’t have them. I just can’t and don’t enjoy watching them get embarrassed repeatedly. Its sickening and relentless. Let’s go on a 10 game losing streak and stop pretending that there’s any hope for this organization.

  3. During Lauer’s debut Pirella was playing 2nd and Headley at first. They couldn’t turn the double play because of a bad throw by Pirella and Headley’s inability to pick the ball at first. Lauer should of been out of the first inning without any runs scored with his confidence intact. Pirella was playing second base because he’s a better hitter than Asuaje but Pirella’s defense is below average. Urias is a better hitter and defender than both of them. Bring him up now. Cut down the strike outs, bring stability, and get on base more with the 2nd base position.

    Send Asuaje back down. He needs to work on things at the plate.

  4. We can’t add Urias without removing a player from the 40-man roster.

    The most logical person would be Headley. Padres are probably planning to trade or DFA him later in the season to open up that spot.

  5. In Wednesday’s game, Pads were down 3 – 0 when Hosmer hit one off the right field wall driving in 2. Unfortunately he was thrown out at third for the last out of the inning. My problem is replays showed Hosmer watching the flight of the ball, getting a slow break out of the box. To me, he lost the chance of a triple right there. This from a guy setting the example for younger players. To me the play shows the Pads are taking a pass because they aren’t expected to win now. Philly and ATL are winning with young players. Last week Dave Roberts pulled Bellinger for lack of hustle. I think Green missed an opportunity to send a message.

    1. I agree call Luis up now!! We need a solid number two hitter to get on base in front of vill, hos and francy.

    2. You are right! But the Padres have backed themselves into a corner by going so far beyond what was right and realistic for Hosmer’s contract that they will not discipline him

    3. What Hosmer did seems to be par for the course these days. Hustling out of the box is the exception.

      As far as Urias goes he should absolutely be called up now.

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