Reds news: Cincinnati signs undrafted infielder Francisco Urbaez

The Reds signed undrafted infielder Francisco Urbaez.

Sunday marked the first day that major league teams could sign players that were not taken during last week’s draft. The Cincinnati Reds signed a pair of college players on Sunday including Florida Atlantic infielder Francisco Urbaez.

Florida Atlantic University is not necessarily a hotbed of major league talent. Only a handful of players who have suited up for the Owls over the years have even made it The Show. Among the recent FIU alum to get their chance in the big leagues are St. Louis left Austin Gomber and right-hander David McKay who debuted last season.

The Reds are getting a solid hitter with this signing. In two years at FIU, Francisco Urbaez slashed .315/.426/.500 over the course of 77 games. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs, Urbaez shows promise at the dish.

After being part of back-to-back championship teams at Chipola College, Urbaez transferred to Florida Atlantic and was the starting second baseman for the Owls. Urbaez, who’s on-base percentage this season was .403, was FIU’s leadoff hitter; something the Reds have been missing for quite sometime.

Now, Urbaez did play in Conference-USA; not usually known for producing top baseball talent. However, looking at his numbers alone would suggest that he’s no slouch, regardless of the level of competition. He led the Owls in triples and total bases in 2019.

With only three strikeouts though the first 16 games of the 2020 season, Urbaez was ranked as the toughest hitter in the C-USA to strikeout. Urbaez had just three whiffs through 77 plate appearances.

What Urbaez may become as a professional remains to be seen. Obviously, had the MLB Draft been its typical 40 rounds, Urbaez would’ve likely be selected. However, with players who went undrafted now able to pick where they play, perhaps Urbaez saw something in the Reds that provides him a path to living his dream as a major leaguer someday.

Next: Grading the Reds 2020 draft

The Reds, according to Baseball America, also signed right-handed pitcher James Proctor out of Princeton. Proctor is a 6-foot-5 hurler from St. Louis, Missouri who threw to complete game shutouts in 2019 and struck out 12 batters in nine innings during the pandemic-shortened 2020 college baseball season.

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