Urshela Named International League Batter of the Week for Second Time in 2016
Bob Toth | On 08, Aug 2016
Giovanny Urshela might not have the longest active hitting streak in the Indians minor league system or even the second longest, but it did not stop him from getting the attention of the International League over the course of the last week, as the Columbus Clippers third baseman was named the league’s Batter of the Week.
It is the second time this season that Urshela has received the honor. He was recognized for his efforts from April 25 to May 1 earlier in the year.
For the week, Urshela appeared in seven games and batted .500 with a .483 on-base percentage from August 1 to August 7. He had 14 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, and drove in 12. In 30 plate appearances, he struck out just two times, with both coming in the same game on August 3 against Indianapolis.
He started the week with a pair of multi-hit games in the series against the Indians. He singled and doubled in the opener and had a pair of singles, a sacrifice, and two runs scored on Tuesday. He homered, hit a sacrifice fly, and drove in three on Wednesday before hitting a pair of doubles and a single while driving in two more on Thursday to wrap up the Indy series.
Against a new opponent in the Louisville Bats, he remained hot, going 4-for-6 on Friday with three singles, a double, two runs scored, and two runs batted in. He appeared defensively on Saturday and did not bat, but added two more hits on Sunday, including another homer and three runs batted in.
The 24-year-old third base prospect has the third longest active streak in the Indians organization, trailing Francisco Mejia’s 47-game streak and Yandy Diaz’s 25-game mark. Urshela extended his to 20 games with the two hits on Sunday.
After some early season struggles and missing some time with a hamstring injury, Urshela has come on strong down the stretch. He hit .224 in June, but bounced back with a .279 average in July.
During his 20-game hitting streak, Urshela has a slash line of .385/.380/.604 with 23 singles, eight doubles, four home runs, 12 runs scored, and 18 runs batted in.
He has appeared in 94 games for the Clippers this season, hitting .273 with 19 doubles, eight homers, and 45 RBI. His season batting average has climbed 35 points during the streak.
He also has a much less discussed streak of 48 consecutive games played (with at least one plate appearance) without drawing a walk. He took his last free pass on June 11 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and has just nine total on the season in 396 plate appearances.
Urshela joined the Indians as an amateur free agent in 2008. He is in his third season at the Triple-A level, after being promoted to the Columbus roster in 2014. He spent just 22 games with the club last season before earning a promotion to Cleveland, where he hit .225 with eight doubles, six homers, and 21 RBI in his first 81 Major League games.
He is the first Clippers player to win the award since teammate Diaz took home the hardware just two weeks ago.
Photo: Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch