- Full name Henry Alexander Urrutia
- Born 02/13/1987 in Las Tunas, Cuba
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- Debut 07/20/2013
Organization Prospect Rankings
A Cuban defector who signed with the Orioles for $778,500 in July 2012, Urrutia's visa issues kept him out of games until April 19, 2013, but by July he had reached Baltimore. The promise of that season faded somewhat when he needed sports-hernia surgery early in May 2014 and missed more than two months. Urrutia never regained the offensive form he showed when he was the Orioles' minor league player of the year in 2013. Limited to 51 games at Triple-A Norfolk, he failed to homer and posted a .623 OPS, though he hit .303 in 122 at-bats after his return. Despite Urrutia taking a step backward, the Orioles remain high on his lefthanded bat. He has a level, line-drive swing with solid contact and plate discipline skills. A gap-to-gap hitter, he may never hit for much home-run power, but his hit tool alone could get him back to the majors. He's a below-average defender in left field but has shown improvement in reading the ball off the bat, and his first step is now quicker, but he will probably never be an average defender. Urrutia's bat will need to get him past Triple-A, where likely will begin 2015.
Urrutia played in Cuba's Serie Nacional from 2006-10, hitting .397/.461/.579 with 12 home runs in his final season. Suspended in 2011 after a failed defection, he left Cuba in 2012 and signed that July with the Orioles for $778,500. After trouble securing a visa, Urrutia did not play until joining Double-A Bowie last April. He played in the Futures Game and made his big league debut on July 20. The Orioles say Urrutia has a lean, long frame like Bernie Williams in his prime. Previously a switch-hitter, Urrutia has batted lefthanded only with the Orioles. He has a level, line-drive swing with solid contact and plate-discipline skills. He has below-average home run power and is more comfortable using the opposite field, spraying line drives to the gaps. He's a below-average runner and fringy defender who fits best in left field. He has an average arm. Urrutia will compete for an outfield job in Baltimore with Steve Pearce and Nolan Reimold. He'll have to defend better to earn manager Buck Showalter's trust and avoid a return to Triple-A. At age 27, the time is now.
The son of former Cuban national team outfielder Ermidelio Urrutia, Henry signed with the Orioles in July for a bonus of $778,500. He played for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, then hit .397/.461/.597 during Cuba's Serie Nacional 2009-10 season. He was suspended for the 2010-11 season after an unsuccessful defection attempt, and he didn't play in any minor league or instructional league games in 2012 because he was dealing with visa issues. Urrutia is physically mature and doesn't offer much projection. He's a switch-hitting outfielder who should hit for a solid average with average power. He makes consistent line-drive contact from both sides but has a better swing plane from the left. An average runner with a strong arm, Urrutia fits best defensively in right field but may not have the prototypical pop for the position. Assuming he gets his visa, he'll open the 2013 season in Double-A. Baltimore believes he won't need much time in the minors.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Baltimore Orioles in 2014