The Indians are one of the most talented teams that are complete in every aspect of the game, that we all know, but it’s never too late to start thinking about the future and looking for players that can help keep it bright.
That’s where Giovanny Urshela comes in. At 26 years old, Urshela shows promise as a contributor for any team that employs his services, but he still has a way to go before he is an everyday starter.
A career .225 hitter, his offense has never translated from Triple-A to the big leagues and when you’re competing for playing time in which every current starter in the infield has made an All-Star team, your climb becomes that much harder. Not to mention, Yandy Diaz made his debut last season, further complicating allocation of playing time.
The Indians entered spring training this year with the task of letting go of either Urshela or fellow utility infielder Erik Gonzalez as both players are out of minor league options. With not enough open roster spots, this means one player will be designated for assignment and will pass through waivers with no guarantee they will be unclaimed and granted a trip back to the minors.
Both players have similar skill sets and serve the same purpose on the team, however, Urshela can always rely on his defense to keep him afloat.
Looking at the stats, Urshela is an average defender, but just like former Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Urshela is prone to making a highlight play in the field from time to time. Contributing a number of memorable plays last year, he showed his worth in keeping him on the team.
In spring training this year, so far, Urshela is hitting a bold .520 with two homers and five RBI in 25 at-bats, although these numbers are a little inflated due to a small sample size and Spring Training pitching.
MLB.com has projected Urshela to hit .258 with three homers and 15 RBI in 35 games. The batting average is higher but note only 35 games played. A far cry from the 72 he played last year, maybe people at MLB know something we don’t. It’s clear his defense is his best trait in a game that is dominated by strikeouts, .300 averages and the long ball.
Should the Indians listen and look forward to other players? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.