- Full name Giovanny Urshela
- Born 10/11/1991 in Cartagena, Colombia
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 06/09/2015
Organization Prospect Rankings
Urshela long has been hailed within the system as a standout defensive player who needed his bat to come forward, which it did in 2014. He hit his way out of Double-A Akron in early May and then held his own as a 22-year-old at Triple-A Columbus. The Indians rewarded Urshela by adding him to the 40-man roster after the season. Introducing a slight leg kick last season allowed him to see the ball longer and in turn be more selective as far as picking out pitches to drive. Urshela has a muscular frame and can put on shows in batting practice, though his in-game power rates closer to average. He's never struggled to make contact, but by putting the ball in play so often, he rarely walks. Defense still is where Urshela shines most brightly, for he shows clean actions at third base and a plus throwing arm. He ranges well but is a below-average runner overall. Urshela figures to spend the bulk of 2015 at Columbus.
When Urshela signed with the Indians for $300,000 in 2008, he was one of the top prospects out of Colombia. His biggest strength so far has been his defense, which has the potential to be well above-average. He's a smooth defender with range to his left and down the line, clean hands, good instincts and a plus-plus arm. His hand-eye coordination is evident in the field, though in some ways it hampers him at the plate. Urshela doesn't swing and miss much, but because his he puts the bat on the ball so easily, he gets himself in trouble by expanding the strike zone rather than waiting for a good pitch to hit. He has raw power that could develop into average or slightly better pop, which he hinted at with a career-high 14 homers in 2012, but he must become less of a free swinger. He's a below-average runner. Still young, Urshela should make the jump to Double-A at age 21 this year.
Urshela was one of Colombia's top prospects in 2008, when he signed with the Indians for $300,000. He has developed into an outstanding defensive third baseman with legitimate Gold Glove potential, making difficult plays seem routine. He has excellent defensive instincts and shows good actions, range to both sides and a plusplus arm. He's not an outstanding athlete but has good footwork and advanced feel for the position considering his age. Urshela's bat isn't quite as advanced as his glove, but he has a projectable frame and makes consistent contact. His swing does get long, however, and he would benefit from a more patient approach. The Indians hope he'll develop some home run power as he fills out, but he doesn't project as a slugger. Speed won't be a big part of his game either. Urshela will make his full-season debut in low Class A this year at age 19.
Minor League Top Prospects
The left side of the Columbus infield might one day be the left side of the Indians' infield if Urshela and shortstop Francisco Lindor reach their ceilings. The duo helped guide the Clippers to the IL playoffs with a strong second half. In his first try at Triple-A, Urshela used terrific hand-eye coordination with at least average power potential from the right side to have his best season as a pro. He can demolish the inside pitch with a quick, powerful stroke, but his upper-cutting, flyball approach and just fair plate discipline won't translate to a high average. Urshela's biggest positive is his outstanding play at third base. His arm, range, fielding proficiency and play-making ability make him a plus defender. Thick and powerfully-built, he's a well below-average runner, limiting him to a corner.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Cleveland Guardians in 2013
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the Midwest League in 2011
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Cleveland Guardians in 2011
- Colombia activated 3B Gio Urshela.