Every spring, you hear about a player reporting to camp in the best shape of their life. Last year, former Brewers outfielder Avisail Garcia was one of those players, as was current Milwaukee outfielder Tyrone Taylor. Both made huge physical strides during the off-season and ended up having great seasons.
Early reports from Arizona indicate that Luis Urias may earn this year’s honors, at least according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy.
Urias came to the Brewers in a trade with the San Diego Padres during the 2019-2020 off-season. In year one, the Padres got instant results and production out of Trent Grisham and Zach Davies. At that time, there were some talks that the Brewers lost the trade, which would have made for a rare David Stearns misfire.
A year later, Urias performed quite well offensively and showed that maybe the trade was not as lopsided as most initially thought. In 2021 he finished with 23 long balls, 75 RBI’s, and paved a path to be the Brewers every day third basemen this upcoming season. He additionally reached arbitration this off-season as a Super-Two player and has four years of club control remaining.
What might an improved physique mean for Luis Urias and the Brewers in 2022?
When you look at the physical profile a typical power-hitting third basemen, Luis Urias’s 5’9″ frame does not necessarily fit the bill. However, his ability to hit home runs and produce as an offensive player should not go unnoticed.
In fact, if he did indeed manage to bulk up over the off-season, it is possible that, if given enough at bats, he could flirt with being a member of the 30-home run club in 2022.
With improved strength, Urias could look to steal more bases this year as well. He swiped just five bases in 2021, but if he managed to put on some lower body mass, this could help him on the base paths as well.
Defensively, Urias has great range and a cannon for a throwing arm. His biggest flaw comes in his throwing accuracy. This will be something to monitor as the season progresses and is not something that could be corrected physically.
In the end, if Urias manages to build upon his success from last season that will make for a very deep Brewers lineup. Pre-lockout addition, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, and brand new acquisition, fellow outfielder Andrew McCutchen, are both power threats, and the hope is that former MVP Christian Yelich will be able to rediscover his power stroke at the plate this year.
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The thought of Urias again being among one of the leaders in home runs for the Brewers is exciting. Last year, he proved he could hit for power at the major league level and the reports of him coming to camp “yoked” should indicate that we will see more of the same this year.