Urrutia needs strong showing in Arizona Fall League

Urrutia needs strong showing in Arizona Fall League
October 8, 2013, 2:30 pm
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(Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)

The Arizona Fall League starts play this afternoon, and many eyes in the Orioles organization will be on Henry Urrutia.

Urrutia and Jonathan Schoop headline the prospects Baltimore supplied to the Surprise Saguaros, who host the Peoria Javelins today.

Bowie Baysox manager Gary Kendall will watch Urrutia, who had a fascinating first year in professional ball. After his July 2012 signing by the Orioles, Urrutia was detained in Haiti for eight months.

He hit well for Bowie and Norfolk and was promoted to the Orioles after the All-Star break.

Urrutia batted .276 in 24 games with the Orioles. He was returned to Norfolk in August and spent 10 days with them in September before he was sent to Sarasota, Fla. for the Instructional League.

Signed for $778,500, the Cuban defector proved to be an opposite-field, slap hitter in his first go-around in the majors. He struck out 11 times and never walked. Urrutia had just one extra-base hit.

Besides working on his hitting, Urrutia, who did show some power in the minors, will try and prove his worth as a left fielder, a position the Orioles may need help at next year. He only played three innings in left in his brief time with the Orioles.

Besides the 26-year-old Urrutia, another Cuban defector, Dariel Alvarez, will be on Surprise. Alvarez was signed in July. The 24-year-old outfielder batted .342 in 23 games with Gulf Coast, Frederick and Bowie.