Reviewing the Brew’s 2020 season report card series continues today with a look at one of the Brewers newest additions in Luis Urias.
2020 did not go as well as Luis Urias had hoped, although the same can be said for pretty much everybody at this point. The Brewers shortstop entered the season in a legitimate battle for the starting job, but ultimately fell short of securing that job this year for a variety of reasons.
Back in January, after playing in winter ball, Urias fractured the hamate bone in his hand, which needed surgery. Urias was out for almost two months, missing the first half of spring training 1.0, and then the very same day he was ready to get back into game action, the sport was shut down due to the pandemic.
Then when baseball was finally ready to start again, Urias tested positive for the very same virus that shut the sport down to begin win. Although he was asymptomatic for weeks, he continually had positive tests show up and missed most of Summer Camp 2.0 as well. Once he was finally ready for action, he came in but had to spend the first few weeks of the regular season at the alternate site in Appleton.
Then, on August 10th he was activated from the IL and brought up to the big leagues.
Luis Urias Season Report Card:
Once Urias finally was able to get on the big league field, he initially impressed. Through his first 25 games with the Brewers, from August 10th through September 9th, Urias was slashing .286/.355/.357 with five extra base hits and 11 RBIs in 84 ABs.
Urias was providing great defense, playing in multiple spots over the infield, including shortstop. He looked every bit the hitter he had been in the minors and everything the Brewers were expecting. If Orlando Arcia wasn’t also playing so well, Urias probably would’ve taken over the starting shortstop job at that point.
Urias also face-planted trying to give Eric Sogard a Gatorade shower. That was fun.
Unfortunately, after September 9th, Urias just wasn’t the same hitter. He went just 2-for-25 to end the season and finished the year with a .239/.308/.294 slash line.
Although his season ended with a bit of a dud, Urias showed what he’s capable of and things likely would’ve been far different if this were a 162 game season.
Which can we trust more? The 84 at-bat sample where Urias was a productive hitter or the 25 AB sample where Urias was in a slump?
In all honesty, both are too small of sample sizes to draw any real, long term conclusions. Still, there’s a lot more to work with in an 84 AB stretch than a 25 AB stretch. The jury is still out on Urias. He’s not going to turn 24 until June next year and still has less than 400 ABs in his career.
Urias had a really strong first month of the season offset by a rough final two weeks. The Brewers still believe in him as a shortstop but in the meantime he can handle third base or second base while filling in at short since Arcia has held onto the starting shortstop job heading into 2021.
However, Arcia is probably still one prolonged slump away from Urias getting more regular starts at the position.
There was nothing in this 2020 season that would lead the Brewers to believe Urias is incapable of being the starting shortstop in the future. As stated previously, the jury is still out on him.
Urias gets a B- for me, because he showed a lot of promise offensively but struggled towards the end. His defense was strong with a +1 DRS at shortstop and a +2 DRS at third base. Given all the challenges he faced just to even get his season started, he gets a little bit of a benefit of the doubt against his poor final offensive numbers.
The Brewers are going to be depending on Urias to find consistency at the plate next year as he’s likely to get a lot of playing time next year given the team’s limited budget and ability to add another starting infielder.