On Sunday morning at 9:00 AM ET, Major League Baseball teams were officially allowed to sign undrafted free agents. In a departure from past years, teams had to wait several days after the draft before contacting players to try and work out a deal. And the players could only receive $20,000 or less as a signing bonus. Due to that bonus stipulation it’s very likely that we’re going to see college senior signs only. On Sunday the Cincinnati Reds made two such signings, inking infielder Francisco Urbaez out of Florida Atlantic, and right-handed pitcher James Proctor out of Princeton.
Let’s start by taking a look at Francisco Urbaez. The 22-year-old was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in October of 1997. He began his college career at Chpola Junior College where he played as both a freshman and a sophomore. In his 97 games at Chipola he hit .319/.389/.476 with 29 walks and 24 strikeouts in 97 games. In 2019 and 2020 he played for Florida Atlantic, hitting a combined .315/.426/.500 for the Owls in 77 games. That came with 15 doubles, 2 triples, 10 home runs, 45 walks, and 38 strikeouts in 77 games played.
Simply looking at the stats, one thing that sticks out is that for the last three seasons, Francisco Urbaez has walked more than he’s struck out. That’s typically a pretty good sign that a guy understands the strikezone and has some bat control. The 5′ 11″ and 195 lb infielder showed off a little bit of pop in 2019, too – hitting 10 homers and slugging .519.
Here’s some video of Francisco Urbaez taking batting practice at the 2019 South Florida Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game.
When it comes to a scouting report on Francisco Urbaez, I haven’t heard much to this point. He signed today and I’ve only heard back from one scout who has seen him, and it was in 2019. Good defender, contact-line drive oriented swing, gamer.
With the other signing on Sunday, the Reds went to the mound in the Ivy League. James Proctor, a 6′ 5″ and 220lb right-hander from Princeton signed a deal with Cincinnati. A 4-year starter for the Tigers, he made 28 starts over his four seasons, but never threw more than 50.1 innings in a season (2019). His ERA was 5.88 in his college career, and only in 2019 was his season ERA under 5.11 (4.65). In both 2019 and 2020 (small sample size in 2020) he struck out more batters than he threw innings, but his walk rate was still higher than you’d like to see.
Not a ton of information on James Proctor right now from a scouting perspective. He pitched against Ole Miss earlier this year and the game was on the SEC Network. You can go back and watch it through the ESPN App IF you have the SEC Network as a part of your cable/satellite subscription. I don’t. But there are some highlights from the game available online, and while I can’t vouch for the accuracy of their stadium radar or whatever they were using for the broadcast, Proctor was throwing 92-93 during that game. Proctor is also a Driveline trainee.
Interesting note: His grandfather, also named James (but he went by Jim) Proctor, pitched for the Detroit Tigers in 1959. He played professionally from 1955-1963, but saw his only big league action during the 1959 season with Detroit.
If you missed it in the navigation bar (which if you browse on your phone rather than a tablet or laptop, you probably did) – the 2020 Cincinnati Reds Draft Tracker is up and live. This year we are also trying to keep it up to date with undrafted free agent signings since there were only five rounds of the draft this year.
The Reds have signed an additional eight players and we’ve got scouting reports and information on all of them. You can check that out right here.