Pronounced Jo-han, your-ayn-nya has been with the organization for a while, and has looked promising at times before injuries derailed him. Honestly, I do not know what to do with him, especially since he was so high caliber to begin with.
3B/1B Jhoan Urena
6’1″, 230 lbs, S/R B/T, 9/1/1994 (22), Signed for $425,000 out of the Dominican Republic for in 2011
Urena has started to open eyes this year with a good season to start out, and has started to take walks. Urena has always been an interesting 3rd baseman, and opened eyes in 2014 with a great campaign, but had trouble when he was sent to Hi-A. But let’s break it down about Urena, the player.
Urena was signed for 425K in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. In 2012, he impressed the team at the Dominican Summer League hitting .279/.330/.405, garnering a bit of hype with the club with his natural ability to hit. He hit 22 extra base hits in 64 games. He was sent to the Gulf Coast League, and did well with a .299/.351/.376 slash line with 9 extra base hits in 2013.
He made a name for himself, being on the same side of the infield with top prospect Amed Rosario with a stellar 2014. He hit .300/.356/.431 and was an all-star for the Short-Season-A Brooklyn Cyclones and showed off some power with 26 extra base hits including five homers and 20 doubles. This gave the Mets confidence to skip him up to High-A St. Lucie.
But that didn’t go well. Urena started out hot, but started slowing down in 2015, and then got injured, and then got injured again. Urena managed to break both of his hamate bones (a small bone in the wrist) and had to have surgery to remove both. In hamate bone injuries, the player’s ability to hit is often negated because strength is lost in the wrist effected for a long time. It really did not help Urena, as he was hitting .215/.257/.267 in 64 games. And it showed again in 2016 when he returned to St. Lucie, it seems as though he was still reeling, as he hit .225/.301/.350, but hit a career high 9 home runs.
This year, he has improved greatly, hitting over .300, and is getting on base at a clip over .400 (as of 6/9), and is hitting for some nice doubles power.
For his scouting report, he had a nice one for a bit as a switch hitter. Urena is patient, and take a walk, but with the hamate bone injuries, I wonder how it has altered his scouting report. He used to have plus bat speed from both sides, but now it is merely average. His plus power projection has also been reduced as of late, and it is hard to make sense of his hitting and his future value in general. It is encouraging to see him finally enjoy some success at High-A, but it is a wonder how well he is going to be doing in the future.
His defense is also a bit of a worry, as he has been described as “clunky”, and he has been misplaying the ball at an alarming rate at the third base position. He doesn’t have the greatest range at third and moves merely okay, while not having great hands at the hot corner. His arm is plus, however, getting to first in plenty of time. His actions across the diamond are better, but he would be graded as merely average as a first baseman. These are troubling signs for Jhoan.
Overall, I’d like to see him develop more power, and he may as soon as he moves up to Binghamton, but if he has to leave third base for good, he’s no longer a prospect.
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(Photo Credit: MILB.com/Ashley Marshall)