Urena draws attention with great defence

Gibbons: Shortstop prospect is 'probably the heir apparent to Tulowitzki'

Urena draws attention with great defence

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Blue Jays' 5-1 win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park on Wednesday, Rays third baseman Richie Shaffer hit a foul pop-up that appeared headed for the seats down the third-base line.

Instead, Blue Jays shortstop Richard Urena raced over, dove across the rolled up tarp and made a terrific catch. On another play he went deep into the hole to throw out the runner.

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"He looks like the future," manager John Gibbons said of the 20-year-old. "He'll probably be the heir apparent to [Troy] Tulowitzki someday. He's very calm. He carries himself like a big leaguer. He hits from both sides of the plate, and he's a good defender. So he's got everything. It's just that he's such a youngster, and he's got to pay his dues."

It's not just Urena's glove that's been impressive so far.

"To play shortstop in the big leagues you've got to be a good defender. So he's got that. But I see the complete game. He can run a little bit. He's got offence and defence," Gibbons said.

And the manager also liked the effort, despite the risk of injury.

"I like the hustle," he said. "You don't see a lot of guys do that. I mean, you don't want to see anyone get hurt. But it's not like you can go out and stop them before it happens. He did show me something."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.