Earlier this season, when he wasn’t a hitter on a heater, the Orioles' Ramón Urías, had you interviewed him then, would have expressed complete confidence in his offense and that his stats would soon come around.
This was when his OPS was .648 at the end of May. The underlying data about his contact rates, exit velocity and other numbers told him he was doing some good things. Just not getting consistently good results.
And now that has changed.
“I just stayed confident,” he said this morning in the Baltimore clubhouse. “I was trusting what I was doing and I was feeling good. Didn’t have a ton of luck. But I just stayed positive and kept working. I stayed focused and things are going well right now.
“I mean I was talking with our hitting coach and Ryan (Fuller) told me then, ‘You’re doing well.’ Sometimes you can’t control it all but he said I was hitting the ball good and my expected batting average was up there. He said, ‘Don’t worry and good things are going to happen.’ That is what he was telling me and at some point they are going to match during the season.”
That point has arrived for Urías.
He continues to rank among the O’s leaders in average exit velocity at 90.7 mph, behind only Ryan Mountcastle at 91.9 mph. His hard-hit percentage of 49.7 leads the Orioles and he has been among the best on the team in that stat for most of the year.
Urías doesn’t have a full explanation for how he generates such consistently good exit velocities or his solid contact stats.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s bat speed. I just try to hit the ball hard,” he said.
Over a 14-game stretch since returning from the IL on July 4, Urías is batting .404/.440/.723/.1.163 with three doubles, four homers and 16 RBIs. He has raised his season OPS from .660 to .767. He has an RBI in five straight games, with eight in that span, and has driven in 13 runs his past eight games. His two-run homer in the eighth last night gave the O’s late-game insurance in their 6-3 win over the Yankees.
There are a lot of stats one could cite in looking at the improvement of the 2022 Orioles, but team chemistry and how close-knit this team has become is something we cannot put any stat on.
“But it means a lot,” Urías said. “How many times have we come from behind? We stand behind each other. Every day we go out and play as hard as we can and know we have each other’s back. There is no stat on chemistry but it is one of the most important things.
“It’s all just been fun and we are really enjoying playing. It seemed to happen all the sudden,” he said.
Urías said the Orioles are taking pleasure right now in being a surprise team.
“Of course. Yeah, at the beginning it was like the Orioles are going to be the worst team in baseball. We were just laughing at that. We knew we would be better this year,” he said.