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Four Things For A Friday: Urías, Hitting Singles, Allen, & Prospect Rankings

Photo: Marcus Pond

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” – Michael Scott

There are times when I want to write about something, but there’s not enough meat on the bone for a full-blown article.  Other times, there’s something that I feel like is worth mentioning, but don’t feel like getting too deep into it.  I’m going to try to save a few of those things for a Friday column.  This is that column.

Luis Urías Is Back

There was a pretty rough stretch for the Luis Urías leading up to the All-Star break.  He hit a lackluster .233 in the month of June (though his OBP was still .353 thanks to an 11.5% walk rate), with just two extra base hits in 23 games.  Not great.

Since July hit, however, he’s hit .344 with a .433 OBP.  Yes, most of those are singles (just two doubles), but it’s good to see that he’s still able to walk and is back to slapping the ball around the field.  He’s no longer the youngest player in the league (an honor that has been passed on to his teammate Josh Naylor), but I still believe that he stays in San Antonio the rest of the year.  Looking forward to postseason baseball at Wolff Stadium in September.

 

Single Percentage

Thinking about Urías’ penchant for hitting singles, I thought about what percentage of a given player’s hits go for singles.  Here is a list of some that I looked up.

I’m not sure that I’ve come across a stat that’s more useless than “Single Percentage”, and it’s something that I came up with myself!  What a feat!  It’s not the complete opposite of slugging percentage, but it seems like it’s in a similar vein.  I’m not certain what to do with this info, but here it is.

 

Austin Allen Is On A Tear

I had the chance to talk to Austin Allen after a game I went to while on vacation in San Diego, and man, I was really impressed with him.  I need to get that transcribed and posted soon.

Anyways, aside from being a cool dude and a good interviewee, he has been hitting like a maniac in the Cal League.  He has a 1.087 OPS in the month of July, including a 4 for 5 game last night, where he homered and doubled in the Storm’s 8-4 win over the Lancaster JetHawks.

Whenever I bring up how well Allen is doing on Twitter, I usually have someone mention to me that they don’t think he has the defensive chops to stick behind the plate.  In the small, one-game sample I had, I didn’t see anything alarming, and after talking with him, it’s hard to be objective because he seems like a guy who will do whatever it takes to improve himself.  I have high hopes for him.

 

Who Is Number One?

Baseball America came out with their Top 10 Padres prospect list yesterday, which incited a lot of debate among Padres Twitter.  They had Cal Quantrill at number one, followed by MacKenzie Gore and Luis Urías.  The debate motivated me to finish a piece on ranking prospects (which I creatively titled “On Prospect Rankings“), in which I discussed the various criteria that may go into a prospect evaluation.

In the end, the Padres organization is a tricky one to evaluate, at least at this precise moment.  Anderson Espinoza only recently began a throwing program, MacKenzie Gore and Adrian Morejon are still very young, and Cal Quantrill has been good but not great this year.

In my eyes, Fernando Tatis Jr. is the guy.  Coming into the year, the scouting report on him said that he had a high ceiling, and while he doesn’t have much of a track record to fall back to I think he’s shown enough recently (especially in month of July, where he’s put up a 1.145 OPS) to show that he’s not just a familiar name.  At 18 years old, I don’t see anybody in the Padres system that excites me as much as he does.

 

Other things that just missed the cut:

  • Jabari Blash has been on fire since being called up to El Paso, and it was great watching him and Hunter Renfroe slug some balls off Madison Bumgarner last night.
  • San Antonio pitcher Brett Kennedy has 102 strikeouts this season, which is tied for the most in the Texas League.  He has 19 starts, which is second most in the league, so that helps, but he’s tied with Grant Holmes, who is an A’s starter that’s a top 100 prospect.
  • Henry Henry has had some great starts for the Tri-City Dust Devils.  After going 14.2 innings in his first four starts combined, he’s gone seven innings in each of his last two outings, allowing just one earned run on six hits, two walks, and 13 strikeouts.