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  • Nov

    2013 Number 11 prospect: Henry Urrutia

    Written by Lee Tackett and Tony Pente

    #11  - Henry Urrutia - LF
    Ht Wt  Bats Throws Born Draft
    6-5 200 L R  2/13/87 FA Sign '12

    Scouting Grades - Definitions

    Current 4 Most Likely 4 Ceiling 5
    Major League Target Date


    2013 Stats - Full stats

    2tm 347 21 1 9 50 1 1 32 51 .347 .406 .506 .913 10.8 6.8

    Bio: Urrutia earned the organization’s Minor League Hitter of the Year award due to his impressive .347/.406/.506 slash line during his time in the minors. Although at 26, Urrutia was an elder member of the Bowie roster, he showed in 200 at bats that he was too advanced for the level. Urrutia made his major league debut in Texas on July 20th picked up an RBI single in his second at bat. He was optioned back to Norfolk a few weeks later, where he continued to hit, before coming back to the big club during September call-ups. Urrutia had very limited playing time while with the Orioles but showed little power putting up a .276/.276/.310/.586 line in 56 PAs.

    Hitting/Running: Though Urrutia showed more power during his minor league stops, his opposite field oriented hitting approach in Baltimore is not an aberration. Urrutia’s limited power in the minors was to right field, but he drove his OBP up by peppering singles to left field.  Evaluators question whether this output is merely due to a specific approach or indicative of bat speed issues. “Hank,” as dubbed by Buck Showalter, sometimes puts on tape measure shows during batting practice, but it has yet to translate into games. Urrutia is lanky with long arms and has some difficulty getting to premium velocity on the inner half. In Norfolk, Urrutia struck out nearly twice as many times as he walked and in Baltimore he put up an 11-0 strikeout to walk ratio. After a few games in Baltimore of spraying balls to left field, Urrutia was challenged on the inner half and struggled. Going forward, he will need to tighten up his swing path, improve his ability to make adjustments, and to understand how pitchers are attacking him. Urrutia is an average to below runner and does not steal bases and he struggled at times with his base running instincts.

    Fielding/Intangibles: Urrutia’s speed limits him to a corner outfielder where he is average at best. He needs to improve his routes to balls and has a below average throwing arm. Those polled about Urrutia gave a troubling sentiment regarding his coachability and effort. Urrutia is not a high energy in the outfield and on the bases. This wasn’t apparent during his time in Baltimore, but minor league behavior is still worth noting. He was also resistant at times to coaching advice regarding mechanical and approach adjustments. Such a headstrong approach may make things difficult on Urrutia given his limitations as a player.

    Conclusion: The Cuban Urrutia had a very good first full season in American soil, but questions persist about his ultimate ceiling. Urrutia’s major league stint, which consisted of an abundance of backside singles, takes some of the shine off of his minor league numbers. He is likely a left fielder at the major league level with little defensive value so his bat will have to carry him to playing time, especially given his inability to reach base via the walk. However, with the signing bonus out of the way, Urrutia is a cheap asset under team control that the organization can move around as they please. Urrutia’s ceiling is likely a third outfielder with 10-15 home run potential, but a more likely scenario pits him as a platoon player facing right handed pitching. He will be given the chance to compete for a starting job next year, either as the left fielder or designated hitter.

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