Luis Urena

Born: August 21, 1992
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 198
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2009
How Acquired: Int. FA
Birthplace: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A


Urena was one of the Pirates’ more significant international signings in 2009.  He’s a tall, wiry outfielder who runs pretty well and has significant power potential.  He also has a strong arm.  As his debut in the DSL showed, though, he was extremely raw when the Pirates signed him.  He comes from a rural area where he may not have had much exposure to decent pitching.  After four years in the system, though, Urena was still struggling to make contact, although he showed the power when he did.  The Pirates may, however, be moving him to the mound.

DSL:  202/246/236,178 AB, 6 2B, 5 BB, 63 K, 6-9 SB

Hit very little in DSL debut, with terrible walk and K numbers.  He played mostly right field.

R:  235/350/360, 85 AB, 5 2B, 3 3B, 15 BB, 31 K, 4-8 SB

Urena showed a lot of improvement, especially in strike zone judgment.  He still fanned in over a third of his ABs, so he has a long ways to go.  The Pirates brought him along slowly, as he saw action in only about half the team’s games and often played only part of the game.  He played all three outfield positions, but only four games were in center.

R:  200/275/407, 175 AB, 7 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 12 BB, 65 K, 4-9 SB

Urena returned to the GCL and showed excellent power, with over half his hits going for extra bases.  He showed some willingness to take a walk, but obviously had massive problems making contact, as he struggles badly with offspeed stuff.  He played mainly in right, but saw a little action in left and center.  Urena has a strong arm and good speed, but doesn’t get good jumps.

R:  290/338/420, 69 AB, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 23 K, 1-2 SB
A:  194/242/344, 93 AB, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 50 K, 2-4 SB

The Pirates sent Urena back to the GCL for a third year, which in itself was a bad sign.  He continued along the same lines, hitting for some power with major contact problems, although his K rate dropped slightly.  With West Virginia short on outfielders after Barrett Barnes went out for the year, the Pirates moved Urena up to low A for what was probably a last chance.  He hit for pretty good power there, but the contact issues got much worse as he fanned in over half his ABs.

A-:  2-2-2, 5.25 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 34.0 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 4.1 K/9

Urena pitched in relief at Jamestown and wasn’t quite as bad as the ERA suggests.  He walked very few, but also had an extremely low K rate.

It’s impossible to say whether Urena has any potential as a pitcher.  He wasn’t terrible in his debut even though he was pitching at a fairly advanced level given his lack of experience.  Where he appears in 2015 will probably depend a lot on how much progress he makes in fall instructionals and in spring training.

Baseball Reference–Minors
2015: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
November 10, 2009: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.