Luis Urias has had a whirlwind season. He will end the season leading the Brewers in plate appearances, and games appeared in. Very impressive considering he had, and lost two starting opportunities due to outside transactions.
Luis Urias’ 2021 season has highlighted his offensive prowess. He deserves a starting opportunity for the Brewers in the postseason.
Despite the adversity, the 24-year old infielder has hit his stride this season. Coming into the final weekend of the season, Urias is slashing .248/.344/.447. Urias is currently 2nd on the Brewers with 23 home runs, and third in OPS behind Willy Adames and Avisail Garcia.
The defensive woes that plagued Urias have largely subsided in the second half of the season. While playing at third base, he recorded a -2 OAA at third base, which is not particularly great, but not particularly awful either. He may never play a Gold Glove caliber defense, but he has proven to be a reliable option at third base and second base.
Offensively, Urias looks like a new ballplayer. His batting stance has dramatically changed. In 2020, he stood upright, while now he leans back and has some bend to his knees.
Urias appears to have become more aggressive at the plate also this season. In both 2020 and 2021, he 41.9% of all pitches he saw were in the strike zone, but he swung at 69.3% of those pitches this season, as opposed to 56.7% last season. As a result of that, his CSW%, which is a combination of Called Strikes and Whiffs, fell from 29.3% to 25.9%.
The Brewers went out and brought Eduardo Escobar into the mix in July, and he has been a welcome pickup. He has missed some time due to injuries, but since July 28th, he and Urias have a near identical number of plate appearances.
In that time, Urias has 194 plate appearances, and a slash line of .271/.365/.506, and a wRC+ of 131. Escobar in that same time has 190 PA, and a slash of .253/.332/.429, with a wRC+ of 104.
Escobar’s defensive versatility has been utilized in Milwaukee, as he has made 13 starts at first base so far, while providing a solid bat, and adequate defense ( he has a -1 OAA in his time at first).
As they prepare to face the high-powered Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, the Brewers will need to muster all the offensive firepower they can. In that case, Luis Urias should be in the starting lineup in the postseason.
The final say in the starting lineups will come down to Craig Counsell. He does a good job of splitting playing time, and making sure the lineup he constructs is the most advantageous. But no matter how he constructs the lineup, Luis Urias should be starting in the postseason, and possibly beyond.