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SF Giants: 5 cheap potential shortstop depth targets

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar (19) attempts to tag out Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) at second base at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Pirates defeated the Angels 10-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar (19) attempts to tag out Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) at second base at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Pirates defeated the Angels 10-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Richard Urena
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Richard Ureña (7) throws to second to get the force out on New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

5 Cheap Potential SF Giants Shortstop Targets
4. Richard Ureña (Toronto Blue Jays)

Richard Ureña has long been a glove-first shortstop prospect in the Blue Jays organization, consistently ranking among their ten best prospects from 2015-2018. As Toronto struggled to find a trustworthy everyday option at shortstop, they promoted Ureña, who had never played a game at Triple-A or posted a .700 or better OPS at Double-A, to the big-leagues in 2017. At just 21, Ureña struggled as one might expect offensively.

Over the next three seasons, Ureña oscillated between Toronto and Triple-A, primarily playing shortstop and showing some versatility at second base, third base, and left field as well. Yet, as players like Bo Bichette matriculated through the Blue Jays farm system, Ureña’s offensive struggled have slowly pushed him down the organization’s depth chart.

After spending the 2020 season with the Baltimore Orioles at their alternate site, Ureña is back in Toronto on a minor-league deal. He is currently slated to play at Triple-A, but the Blue Jays have the depth to make do without him. Santiago Espinal made his debut last season and seems primed to be the Blue Jays, primary utility infielder. While Ureña has struggled offensively this spring, Espinal is hitting .400. When you add in players like Logan Warmoth and Kevin Smith, it’s easy to see the Blue Jays parting with Ureña in a minor deal.

Still just 25, it’s not hard to dream a bit on Ureña’s potential. He once looked like a borderline everyday player and has shown the contact ability this spring that he could never carry over from his minor-league performance to Toronto. Given how obviously Toronto rushed him to the big leagues, a change of scenery and some consistent playing time at Triple-A could finally give him the time to develop offensively. Perhaps that will come with San Francisco.

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