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Ramón Urias’ Long & Winding Road

Ramon Urias hitting
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As many have seen, infielder Ramón Urias has been able to show up in some big at-bats for the Orioles as of late. Right now, he’s playing in place of shortstop Freddy Galvis, who has been out since June 27th. Urias was also playing every day at the beginning of the year, but he was overtaken at second base by Pat Valaika. With Urias hitting like he has been, and turning heads, let’s take a look into how he got here.

The 27-year-old from Magdalena de Kino, Mexico was originally signed to the Texas Rangers at the age of 16 in 2010. Due to how young he was, he was assigned to the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League team for roughly two years. That began Urias’ long, long road to where he is now. He spent roughly four years being passed around in the Mexican League until he landed with the St. Louis Cardinals in late 2017. In those four years, he was able to become an All-Star once, in 2017.

He then bounced back and forth between minor league teams in the Cardinals organization until he was eventually designated for assignment in 2020. By the sound of this, you’d expect his numbers to be shaky, but he stayed strong throughout his time in the minors. In minor league play (including his time for the Orioles) he has a batting average of .297 with an OBP of .380 and an SLG of .460. With these numbers, you can see why the Orioles claimed him off of waivers just five days after his release. He spent all of his O’s MiLB time in AAA with the Norfolk Tides.

He made his Major League debut with the Orioles towards the end of the 2020 season and finished playing 10 games with a batting average of .360 with two of his hits being doubles and another being a home run. This gave the Orioles a reason to bring up Urias at the start of the 2021 season, so he started on the bench as an infield utility type of player. Although his start wasn’t the best, his month of July has been one to remember. In his last 30 games, he’s hitting .323 with an OBP of .391 and an SLG of .444. He may not get it over the wall very often, but he’s putting the ball in play which is exactly what the O’s need at this stage. He makes a point to not try to yank the ball over the wall whenever he’s given the opportunity as many hitters do. That was expressed by manager Brandon Hyde when he said “he’s getting big hits for us, and he’s one of the rare players right now that isn’t trying to spin to hit pull-side balls in the air. It’s kind of refreshing.”

Ramon has been doing his job, and it’s exactly what has been needed for him to stay on the roster.

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