16. SP Juan Urbina
Urbina was signed this past year as a 16-year old international free agent. Reports are that he is already “hitting 90”, but that’s what everybody says about everybody, including their grandmother.
The same experts have said that he was the top pitcher to come out of the international kiddie signing day. In the past, the Mets used to start these newbies off in Latin America, but not anymore. Watch for him to debit in Florida with the GCL Mets.
6-23-10: - Last year’s big 16-year old international signee, SP Juan Urbina, debuted yesterday for the GCL Mets and done well. His stats were impressive: 5.0-IP, 2-H, 0-ER, 0-R, 3-K, 1-BB. He turned 17 last month. Everybody says this kid is going to be the real deal, but we’ll just have to wait four more years… when he turns 21! Urbina is already hitting the low 90’s and we’ll keep a special look out on him throughout the season.
6-30-10: - Super-prospect Juan Urbina continues to impress at the GCL-level. On Monday, Urbina tossed: 4.2-IP, 1-ER, 6-K and finished the day with a seasonal 0.93 ERA for his first two starts.
8-5-10: - Stock Up – Urbina had another great outing yesterday, going 5.2-IP, 0-ER, 3-K, 0-BB, 4-H. Remember, he’s only 17. His ERA is high (4.84), but that’s due to three horrendous outings where he gave up 16-ER in 10.0-IP. His other eight outings produced 3-ER in 25.1-IP.
In 2010, Urbina pitched for the GCL Mets and faired well for an 18-year old: 5-3, 11-starts, 5.03, 38-K, 14-BB, 48.1-IP.
2011 Forecast: - I can't even imagine what it's like for a kid to come to a brand new country and pitch for the New York Mets. Urbina did exactly what the Mets had hoped for when they signed him and he's one of the top young prospects in the system. The good news is he's blocked pretty solid by the plethora (great Howard Cosell word) of young starters ahead of him, and I'm sure you'll see him as part of the rotation in Brooklyn come the spring.
Up: - SP Juan Urbina – I’m hearing that Adam Wogan is spending a lot of time observing Urbina warm up on the back mounds that are usually off-limits to the press. How do I know this? Well, last year I went back there to say hello to Rick Waits and Wogan politely kicked my arse out of der… anyway, looks like Adam has taken a shine to Urbina, who, in my book, is still a long shot for a full season team in 2011.
7-4-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/07/mets-farm-report-july-3rd-2011-cory-mazzoni-debuts.html - Another terrible outing from Juan Urbina. For the third straight start he failed to make it to the 5th inning. He didn’t give up many hits today, but displayed poor command once more.
7-5-11: - I know it’s a little early in the short-season team’s schedules, but I am going to have to readjust where I have Mets prospect SP Juan Urbina ranked in “The Keepers”. I’ve had him at #12, which is far too high, even for someone pitching well. He’s simply too young and too far down the chain to figure out yet.
7-13-11: - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/765098-new-york-mets-dillon-gee-and-the-mets-top-10-young-pitching-prospects#/articles/765098-new-york-mets-dillon-gee-and-the-mets-top-10-young-pitching-prospects/page/2 - At 6’2” and 170 pounds, Baseball Prospectus lists Urbina as a top-10 Latin talent. The lefty is known for maturity both on and off of the field, and has major league blood in his system, being the son of former All-Star Ugeuth Urbina. Baseball-Intellect calls him the sixth-best prospect in the entire Mets organization, and one scout called him the best Venezuelan pitcher he’d ever seen. Baseball America ranks him ahead of some already proven players, but also are incredibly big fans of what he can bring to the table. Urbina is lean and athletic, can hit 91 mph with his fastball, and has very good command. His changeup is a good setup pitch, and lots of scouts admire his clean mechanics because they feel as if it will minimize his risk of injury. The Mets may or may not rush him up in the system, but I think that he is the sort of pearl that could handle it either way.
8-5-11: - Stock Up – SP Juan Urbina - It’s been a while since we said something positive about prospect Urbina, but today is the day. Hopefully, he began a turnaround last night, going 6.0-IP, 1-ER, 5-H, 6-K, 1-BB for Kingsport. Let’s remember that he just turned 18-years old. ETA is 2015.
8-14-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/kingsport-mets-team-report-stretch-run-edition.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets+%28Mets+Merized+Online%29&utm_content=Twitter - Juan Urbina - The son of the former big leaguer Ugueth Urbina, has been having a very rough year as the rest of the league has been beating him like a drum, at will. His stats aren’t pretty: In 9 GS and 40 IP, he has an ugly 2-5 record, and an ERA of 6.69. His K/BB ratio is very good, 36/16, but he is getting knocked all over the park. 53 hits in his 40 IP, 7 of which are HR’s, and the league is hitting .314 against him. The scouts love him though. After all he just turned 18 earlier this season. He’s 6’2″ and throws LH. And they say he can command several plus pitches, So I guess you can chalk this year up to his young age and despite the numbers, this is a very important developmental year for the south-paw.
8-18-11: - Stock Up – SP Juan Urbina – Look, the kid has had a rough season this year, but he put it all together last night, going: 6.0-IP, 0-R, 5-H, 3-K, 2-BB. Had nine fly balls in the 18 outs. Urbina needed this one and, hopefully, he’ll string out a couple of good ones before the season ends. You will see this kid pitch winter ball.
8-22-11: - #17 – SP Juan Urbina – Urbina is another of those talented raw toolzy guys that is already showing signs of development. He had a good last outing for Kingsports, but pitching at this level is all about teaching, not results. The Mets coaches will work with him to develop 3-4 plus pitchers which will be needed to make it in Queens. If not, he’s a closer in waiting. I have him finishing the year out with K-Port and going to Brooklyn on their opening day. I also look for a winter assignment here. ETA: Earliest 2015
9-25-11: - Juan Urbina – The once 16-year old super-sign had a rough season in 2011 (Kingsport: 4-6, 5.95, 12-starts, 49-K, 56.0-IP), but the 6-2 lefty showed signs of brilliance throughout the season. He’ll play 2012 as a 19-year old, so there is plenty of time here. My concern is his projected velo is still just that, projected.
10-24-11: - http://scoutingthesally.com/game-report-mets-prospect-juan-urbina - Fastball: Urbina featured an above average fastball. He worked primarily in the 87 to 91 MPH range, touching 93 more than once. When working in the high 80′s, he showed some plus downward movement on his 2 seam fastball. As the night went on, he had difficulty commanding this pitch. His 4 seam fastball left something to be desired. At times was flat, especially when he reached back for extra velocity. A 93 MPH flat 4 seam fastball got driven for a home run, another was lined sharply for an out. He did not lose velocity despite getting tired, and he last fastball he threw was 93. When right, he worked in and out with his fastball on right handed hitters, setting them up for his vaulted change up. Change up: Going into this game, any scouting report I found about Urbina talked about how good of a pitch his change up is, Those reports didn’t disappoint. Clearly it’s his best pitch and the pitch that has the ceiling of a plus-plus offering. His arm action on this pitch is tremendous, especially when you consider he is only 18. He only slowed down his motion as he got tired and I don’t believe, even then, a good swing was made on the pitch. It sat between 80-83, with good downward movement. On more than one occasion, it just dropped off, resulting in an ugly swing and miss. Breaking Ball: Honestly, I didn’t see enough to really say anything about his breaking pitches. I have heard he throws a Curveball and a Slider, but they weren’t on display that evening.
10-27-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/10/mmo-top-20-mets-prospects-17-juan-urbina-lhp-exclusive-interview.html - In his last 7 GS of 2011, he went 4-3 with an ERA of 4.00, giving up 36 hits in 36 IP, while striking out 34 and walking 8. Although the overall numbers weren’t so great for the year, it was clearly not a lost season for Urbina. He fought through adversity to turn the season from a negative, into a positive, and learned from the experience. Urbina, now 18, has a clean, effortless delivery and at 6’2″, shows excellent mechanics and good command. His fastball and change-up are his best pitches, though the curveball still needs refinement. If he can sharpen his breaking-ball and miss some bats with it, he can move quickly through the system