For a while we wondered when the Trey Mancini would get some payoff for how hard he was hitting the ball with little to show for it. And this month the hits have started to come for him and his numbers are now getting more in line with what might be expected.
The same has not happened yet for infielder Ramón Urías.
After producing an OPS of .774 in 296 plate appearances last year – which was 12 percent above the American League average – his OPS now is .541. That is 41 percent under the current AL average.
Urías homered on Tuesday versus the Yankees, but then went 0-for-8 in the last two games of that series and is just 3-for-23 over his past seven games. In 32 games this season he is batting .196/.246/.295. Last year his line was .279/.361/.412.
“I’m going through a tough situation and I haven’t been hitting good,” he said this afternoon before the series opener with Tampa Bay. “But I’m staying positive, I’m still working, I’m still coming in every day and thinking that I can hit well that game. I’m just trusting the process and still working hard, and hopefully we are out of that soon.
“I mean, I’m just focusing on getting good pitches and hitting them hard. Sometimes I’ve been hitting them hard and haven’t gotten a ton of luck. That is fine. Everyone goes through tough times, but I’m staying positive.”
He said “of course” when asked if he remains confident that his performance eventually will be in line with what it was last year.
“You have to stay true to your plan and believe in your plan, and good things will happen,” he said.
If you want proof that Urías has hit in some tough luck, among O’s regulars, he is the leader in both average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage.
O’s leaders in average exit velocity:
91.7 mph – Ramón Urías
91.5 mph - Ryan Mountcastle
90.5 mph – Trey Mancini
O’s leaders, hard-hit percentage:
49.4 – Ramón Urías
48.1 – Trey Mancini
47.0 – Ryan Mountcastle
Urías ranks in the top 12 percent in the majors in average exit velocity and top 11 percent in hard-hit percentage.
Meanwhile, the Orioles have some momentum after Thursday’s walk-off win over the New York Yankees as they host the Rays this weekend.
“It was good. Everyone loves a walk-off," Urías said. "We had a couple of tough losses and everyone is feeling good right now. We are staying together, sticking together and always trying to compete and help each other out. We keep the same mentality, and we had a great win yesterday."
While his bat has not come around yet, Urías has been part of an infield that has turned 49 double plays this year, the most in the majors. Baltimore has recorded 27 double plays this month, and that is also tops in the big leagues. Jorge Mateo has been involved in 30 double plays to lead all major league shortstops.
“We’ve been doing good," Urías said. "We keep working hard together and communicating, and of course we are taking pride in it."