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Texas League All-Star interview: Luis Urias

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San Diego Padres infield prospect continues impressive season

MLB: San Diego Padres-Media Day Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Last Tuesday, the 2017 Texas League All-Star Game took place at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders. As I’m currently stationed just outside Frisco, I took the opportunity to interview a couple All-Stars.

First came Luis Urias, second baseman-turned-shortstop for the San Diego Padres and one of the fastest rising young players in all of baseball. (I even wrote about him earlier this year.)

Urias went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in a 7-run fourth innings for the South squad, driving in Oakland’s B.J. Boyd, the game’s MVP.

Just having turned 20, Urias is slashing .312/.410/.417 in his Double-A debut after posting a .330/.397/.440 line in High-A last season.

A fan of MLB The Show and having already represented his home country of Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, let’s meet Luis Urias.

Hey Now, You’re an All-Star!

“It means a lot to me. My dad is here and it’s nice to be an All-Star with my dad here watching me play and my whole family (watching) in Mexico. It’s good to represent my team right now —the San Antonio Missions— it’s a very good feeling.”

Rising stardom

“I only try to enjoy the opportunity, to try to be better everyday. I think my biggest thing is helping the team win and having fun. Right now we’ve got a very good system, a good farm and good players and I think we’re going to do better in the future. For my part, I just keep trying to help the team and try to win, that’s the first goal. (That’s my) thought process. The biggest key is to win, to help the team win.”

On the move to shortstop

“I came to Spring Training and they told me something like ‘we want you to play more at shortstop.’ At the beginning it was more just practice but I had the opportunity when (Jose) Rondon got hurt and I started to play there more and more. I think I’m just playing shortstop from now on since Rondon went to Triple-A. I also like to play second base and I think I have more confidence there but I’m getting better at short. I’m just trying to get better, trying to learn and I’m really enjoying the time.”

MLB: San Diego Padres-Media Day Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Only having just turned 20

“Like I said, it helps me a lot just to try and help my team win. I’m not thinking like that but a lot of people ask me ‘oh, you’re the youngest guy?’ But they’re going to pitch you the same as they do the other guys. I don’t think it matters and I just want to learn right now and get better, that’s it.”

MLB The Show

“I used to play MLB The Show and try to have the best team. I remember like two years ago we had a new coach (in player development) and the name was Moises Alou. I was very excited to have him on the team because I remember he was my three hole (laughs) in my lineup. That was cool to be around those guys (that I played in the game with), you never expect to be around them.”

Ever put yourself in the game?

“Yeah! A lot of times.”

When you see yourself in the game...

“I can’t wait to see if that happens. I gotta learn a lot, I’m young, but I can’t wait to be there. It’s gonna be a good feeling.”

Do you still play?

“Yeah, sure. Sometimes in the apartment, not a lot in the clubhouse. But in the apartment when we have time off.”

Giants rookie Ryder Jones played MLB The Show to prepare for his big league debut. Have you done anything like that?

“Not really, but I think it’s a good idea. Probably one day I will.”

World Baseball Classic experience

“That was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had so far. It was one of the games I’m never gonna forget. I played three games but I started the third game against Venezuela. When I saw the lineup I was like ‘damn, what am I doing here?’ Because I remember I saw Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos González, all those guys and I was like ‘I’m in the lineup!’ (laughs) That was exciting for me. I was kind of nervous but that was one of the best games of my life.”