On Stat-urday, we looked at the stats of two of my favorite Cuban players, Henry Urrutia and Dariel Alvarez. This week, we’ll take a closer look at each of their careers.
Henry Urrutia was born in Las Tunas, Cuba, on February 13, 1987, and played for Las Tunas in the Cuban leagues from 2005 to 2010. The league suspended him in 2010 after a failed attempt to defect, but the following year he successfully defected to Haiti. After that his baseball career took him to the U.S., Venezuela, and Mexico. In 2012, he received a $778,500 signing bonus when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his minor league debut with the double A Bowie Baysox in April 2013, and was promoted to the Triple A Norfolk Tides in on June 28 and made his MLB debut on July 20 the same year. Though h was optioned back to Norfolk on August 17, he was recalled in September.
Urrutia played in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saguaros in 2013. Between 2014 and 2017, he played for the Gulf Coast League Orioles, Bowie, Baysox, and Norfolk Tides, with a few games in Baltimore. He also played for the Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2015 and 2016 and the Mexican Pacific Winter League in 2016 (with the Charros de Jalisco). After starting the 2017 season with the Tides, the Orioles released him in May. He signed with the Red Sox that June and was assigned to the double A Portland Sea Dogs. The Red Sox granted him free agency in November 2017.
Urrutia joined the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2017 and then signed with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico for the 2018 season. He was traded to the Guerreros de Oaxaca in August. He played again for the Cardenales during the 2018 winter season before he was released to make room for Paulo Rodrigo. Most recently, Urrutia was picked up by the Charros de Jalisco in mid-December.
Beyond the stats and the litany of teams played for, baseball is a lifelong pursuit for Urrutia. He is the son and cousin of former Cuban players. Henry’s father, Ermidelio Urrutia, played in the Cuban leagues for approximately 16 seasons and was a member of the 1992 Cuban National team that won the Olympic gold medal. He later managed Henry as well as his cousin, Osmani Urrutia. In addition, Henry was in the stands at Estadio Latinoamericano in 1999 when the Orioles went to Havana to play the Cuban National team.
Good luck to Henry and Los Charros in the playoffs!