Watch out for Henry Urrutia this spring
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
At the moment, the Baltimore Orioles only have one player on their 40-man roster that is specifically a designated hitter: Henry Urrutia.
Since joining the Orioles organization, Urrutia has batted .305/.349/.420 in the minor leagues with 45 extra-base hits and 69 RBI.
Orioles fans caught a glimpse of Urrutia when he made his major league debut on July 20th, 2013. He played in 24 games; started in 11 of them. In his short time in Baltimore, he batted .276 with a triple and two runs batted in.
At the beginning of the 2014 campaign, Urrutia was in Triple-A Norfolk. He had a rough start in Norfolk, hitting just .220 with seven RBI and 23 strikeouts. Things turned from bad to worse when Urrutia was diagnosed with a sports hernia and was forced to miss 6-8 weeks recovering from sports hernia surgery.
When Urrutia came back he was able to salvage his season, finishing out the year hitting .270/.284/.338 with 13 extra-base hits and 17 RBI.
The question that arises now is, “Do you think Urrutia will be on the Orioles 40-man roster on Opening Day of the 2015 season?”
Most designated hitters are power hitters and Urrutia is no where close being called a “power” hitter. He did not hit a single home run in 2014 and only hit nine in 2013. When he was in the major leagues with the Orioles in 2013, he did not hit one either.
The left-handed batter’s major league hits consist of 15 singles and one triple. Mostly all of Urrutia’s hits were opposite field as well and either snuck through the infield or were bloop singles. He never drove the ball while with Baltimore. That is very concerning, especially if manager Buck Showalter is going to use him specifically as a designated hitter.
It will be interesting to see how Urrutia performs this spring as he will try to prove that he deserves to be in the major leagues.