How will Urrutia fare against major league pitching?

After posting such a high batting average at two levels of the O’s minors this year, how well will the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder, Henry Urrutia, hit major league pitching?

It’s a good question, and there is no formula that can truly take a player’s minor league stats and project what they will be in the major leagues.

In some cases, the major league stats can be better. Take Manny Machado, for instance. Last year in 109 Double-A games, he batted .266 with 26 doubles, 11 homers, 59 RBIs, a .438 slugging percentage and a .789 OPS. For the Orioles so far over 148 games, he has batted .294 with 47 doubles, 14 homers,71 RBIs, a .461 slugging percentage and a .783 OPS.

As for Urrutia, in 67 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, (just 15 for the Tides,) he hit .365 with 20 doubles, one triple, seven homers, 43 RBIs, a .531 slugging percentage and a .958 OPS.

He didn’t strike out a lot (42 times) or walk a lot (28 times). He didn’t show big homer power and didn’t homer over his last 22 minor league games.

But he sure did put up an impressive batting average, and he hit well against left and right-handed pitching.

Urrutia with Bowie:
* He hit .340 with an .849 OPS against lefties.
* He hit .374 with a 1.031 OPS against righties.

Urrutia with Norfolk:
* He hit .353 with a .774 OPS against lefties.
* He hit .372 with a .912 OPS against righties.

He has become known as “Hammerin’ Hank.” He didn’t actually hammer many homers, but he sure did send base hits ringing all over the ballpark.

What is a reasonable expectation for Urrutia and his offense at the big league level?

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