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Jose Urena

Born: 09/12/1991 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 200
Mechanics
Very slender frame; thin lower half; broad shoulders; frame could hold more weight down the line; quick-paced drop-and-drive delivery; plane can suffer as a result; arm action is very quick; breaks hands at the letters and gets arm up too early, showing it to hitters for an extended period; increases visibility and decreases deception; arm action is very similar to Randall Delgado's; three-quarters arm slot; loose, whippy arm decelerates well; plus arm speed; long stride down the mound; front leg steps over an imaginary block during stride (aids in velocity); plus momentum; lands on heel; landing can be a bit loud on occasion; back leg is off the rubber at release; pitches over front side decently; falls off toward third base—slightly rotational. Urena is a quick-twitch athlete who shows plenty of fluidity and repeatability in his delivery. The delivery features some effort post-release as he falls off toward first base, but the arm itself is very clean.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 08/21/2014
Affiliate Jacksonville Suns (AA, Marlins)
Dates Seen 8/12/2014
OFP 50
Realistic 50; late-innings relief (7th/8th inning)
MLB ETA Late 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 55 60 91-4 95 Velocity: plus. Command: average; projects to above-average; shows ability to work both sides of the plate with ease; elevates his four-seam to get whiffs; works two-seam low in the zone in order to elicit weak contact; elevated pitch far too frequently in this outing, allowing hard contact up and over the plate; threw strikes and flashed ability to get ahead of hitters with the pitch, but command was merely average; command should improve with repetitions given repeatable mechanics mixed with present strike-throwing ability. Movement: average; standard two-seam life low in the zone; will also show a short cut look in the high-80s that isn't particularly effective; drop-and-drive limits downhill plane. Comments: This projects to be a plus pitch at the highest level. Urena can pump mid-90s with ease and projects to have above-average command of the pitch. He shows different looks with the offering (two-seam, four-seam, cut) and can manipulate the two-seam in particular to miss barrels down in the zone and generate whiffs with the four-seam above the belt.
Changeup 45 50 85-87 88 Command: fringe-average; projects to average; buried a few too many in the dirt; flashed ability to work the outer half versus lefties; can get in trouble by elevating the pitch over the plate. Movement: fringe-average; projects to average; shows above-average arm-side fade at times, but the movement is inconsistent overall; will cut it at times; will also flatten out and become too firm up in the zone and in the upper-80s. Comments: At its best, this pitch can elicit weak pull-side contact from hitters who are caught on their front foot. There is not enough velocity separation for this to be a consistent swing-and-miss pitch, but he projects to have enough feel to be able to get the most out of this weak-contact offering.
Slider 40 45 82-86 87 Command: fringe-average; projects to average; able to generate a few whiffs out of the zone but not a swing-and-miss pitch in the zone; struggled to accumulate quality strikes with pitch; will often choke pitch in the dirt. Movement: below-average; projects to fringe-average; decent three-quarters tilt; more lateral break than vertical depth in the mid-80s; more depth in the low-80s; snap on pitch is inconsistent; will get around the pitch and cause it to merely spin and not break; will also muscle up on pitch and lose sharp break/depth. Comments: This pitch has a tendency to flatten out and doesn't consistently display sharp break, leaving it as a fringy future offering against upper-level bats. It is a playable pitch and should generate some weak contact, but it will not be a swing-and-miss weapon.
Curveball 40 40 79   Command: average; shows ability to get the pitch over the plate early in counts. Movement: below-average; 11-to-5 break; break is soft; shows more vertical action than the slider. Comments: Show-me/get-me-over offering at the highest level; will be able to steal a strike early in counts but will never be a swing-and-miss offering either in the zone or out of the zone.
Overall

Urena is a live-armed RHP prospect who projects to have above-average command/control with a plus fastball but a lack of swing-and-miss secondaries will likely limit his ability to stay in the rotation long-term. Urena's delivery is relatively free and easy with few, if any, red flags, helping with the overall command projection. His arm gets vertical very quickly in his motion, however, giving hitters a very long look at the ball and decreasing the overall deception therein. The fastball is easy gas and he can pump a lively mid-90s heater with regularity and shows an ability to spot it up on the corners or blow it by hitters up in the zone. Despite a lack of plane, this pitch should be a plus offering at the highest level. The changeup headlines the secondary arsenal and should play to average at the highest level, while the slider and curveball are fringy to below average, respectively. The current lack of big strikeout numbers should continue as he reaches the big leagues due to an underwhelming secondary arsenal.

As a player who has seen success in AA, Urena's risk of reaching his #4 starter potential is moderate and is tempered by the concern that he ends up in the bullpen with the lack of a swing-and-miss secondary pitch. If the secondaries improve slightly (new grips, etc.), Urena has a better chance of sticking in the rotation. If not, he will slot in nicely as a late-innings relief reliever due to a fastball that will likely tick up beyond the mid-90s in short stints and an average changeup that will work in his favor against lefties.

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