Height/Weight: 6’2”, 170 lbs
Acquired: NDFA (7/2/09)
Born: 5/31/93 (Ocumare Del Tuy, VZ)
2011 Rank: 14
Why Ranked Here: Urbina slips a few spots from 2010 and 2011 because he’s been something less than dominating at the lower levels and the system as a whole has improved. However, he maintains this relatively lofty ranking because the Mets profess to be nothing but pleased by his progress and the tantalizing nature of his potential. Signed out of Venezuela for $1 million in 2009, the he has moved a level a year through the low minors, and won’t turn 19 until the final day of May.
Back in spring training, our own Mike Diaz pointed out that Urina has an “ideal” pitcher’s frame with “tons of room to fill out.” Mike saw him repeating his mechanics well with a free and easy arm action. This has led to some increase in velocity. Game reports from the Appalachian League have Urbina sitting at 89 mph, and working 87-91 mph, but touching 93, with the ability to throw that hard even late in games.
He still flashes a plus changeup. His curve remains far behind. At this point, with 104.1 professional innings to his credit, he’s still years away. However, if he were an American drafted out of HS, he might not have thrown a single professional inning at this stage.
2011: There’s not a whole lot to get really, really excited about from Urbina statistically in the Appalachian League. The Appalachian League can be a sneaky-difficult place to put up great pitching numbers: many games are played at altitude in small parks, in front of poor (by professional standards) fielders.
Dr. Pangloss Says: If everything goes right, a really good starting pitcher.
Debbie Downer Says: Or he never learns to spin a breaking ball, or his shoulder falls off and he never pitches in the major leagues.
Projected 2012 Start: Savannah with a good spring