BOWIE, Md. - The Double-A Bowie Baysox are back at Prince George’s Stadium, where tonight they begin a seven-game homestand hosting the Harrisburg Senators.
Tonight Baysox and Orioles fans have a chance to get their first in-person look at Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, who was activated by the team a week ago today. Over five games, the 26-year-old Urrutia is batting .316 with one double, a homer and five RBIs. He is 6-for-19 so far for Bowie with a .526 slugging percentage and .907 OPS.
In an interview this afternoon with MASN and MASNSports.com, Urrutia, who has played very little since the 2010 season, said he feels pretty good at the plate right now.
“It feels good,” he said of his swing through Baysox catcher Luis Martinez, who served as an interpreter. “The goal, at first, is to just make good contact. From there, the power will come. Right now, just trying to get comfortable in the box.
“I feel good physically and mentally. I’ve played five games and little by little am getting a feel for the game over here in the states. Hopefully, with time I will settle right in.”
In his fourth game with the Baysox, Urrutia hit his first homer when he went deep at Erie Monday night.
“I was a little bit nervous and excited,” he said of his first homer in the U.S. “I even gave a high five to a fan when I came in to home plate. It was a little confusing because I wasn’t sure whether it was a home run or a double. It was not your traditional outfield fence. Once I saw the umpire’s home run signal, it was very exciting.”
Urrutia has started five games in right field, as he will tonight for the Baysox, batting fifth in the lineup. He had at least one hit in each of his first four games before going 0-for-3 Tuesday in Bowie’s most recent game.
Urrutia feels he is fitting in well with his new Baysox teammates.
“Very excited and happy to be here,” he siad. “I feel right at home, not only with the players but with the coaches and the organization. I am very grateful with the opportunity the Orioles have given me and the way I have been treated.”
Now he wants to progress the point where he can fulfill a dream of playing in the major leagues. What does he think it will take to get there?
“First and foremost, it is the mentality. I have only known baseball one way, the Cuban way. Here, it is much different baseball, especially mentally. My swing will come with time, but just the aspect of baseball I’ve always known is different here. Trying to accomplish the mental side of it,” he said.