Gio Urshela has impressed many people with his early season hitting this year, but many people wonder if it is sustainable. Urshela has never really been a good player overall before he came up at the start of the season to replace Miguel Andujar. But not many people realize his true ceiling and skill.
Gio Urshela started his career with the Cleveland Indians, eventually working his way up to being their number four prospect and pushing his way into the majors. Unfortunately, he struggled heavily at the start of his career and ended up being traded to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash. He ended up struggling with the Blue Jays and was then purchased in August of 2018 by the Yankees, which ended up being a great move for them. He was called up early in the year and then started to reach some of his potential.
When Gio came up, everyone just thought he would be a defensive specialist, but he has been the opposite. Gio has the highest WRC+1 he has ever had in the majors; he hits the ball very well, being in the 78th percentile for exit velocity, and while not amazing, his hard hit percentage is in the 65th percentile. While his hitting might drop off a little, he has given the Yankees a lot more offense than expected.
Gio has been thought of as an excellent defender, but he hasn’t been above average. Although he may seem flashy, Gio’s stats paints a whole different picture. He has a -5 total defensive runs saved, and a 0.1 ultimate zone rating. Now, these may seem like very unimportant stats; however, they are important because it displays how valuable Urshela is to the Yankees defensively. Based off of these stats and watching him play, it is safe to say that he is an upgrade over Andujar defensively, but if his offensive production drops, the Yankees will most likely need to move DJ LeMahieu to third base and put Gleyber Torres at second. They will be able to make this move with Didi Gregorius off the IL.
This season is crucial for Gio Urshela’s tenure with the Yankees, as Boone has stated that Gio has earned his role to stay up for the year. Urshela needs to keep working, play hard, and help the Yankees win. If Gio does play well all year, the Yankees might even look for a new home for Miguel Andujar since Luke Voit is their everyday first baseman and they probably don’t want a permanent DH. Only time will tell what will happen to Gio, but for now, he has a spot on the main roster.