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Urias hits safely in 6 straight Winter League games

Butler maintains 1.00 ERA, Torres smacks 2 homers

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Luis Urias is at it again in Mexico.

The 18-year-old infielder was 9-for-22 last week with two doubles, four runs scored and five RBIs for Obregon of the Mexico Pacific League, raising his season average to .356.

That would be the third-highest average in Mexico's Winter League if Urias had enough at-bats to qualify. He is 10 shy of the minimum.

Urias, who turns 19 in June, is 21-for-59 on the season with Obregon with 10 runs scored and 11 RBIs in 20 games. The native of Magdalena de Kino, Mexico, has a .415 on-base percentage, and he is riding a six-game hitting streak while playing shortstop and hitting second for the Yaquis.

Urias's playing time could be affected in future weeks, however. Obregon just signed Daniel Castro, who played shortstop for Atlanta last season. Christian Villanueva, the Yaquis' third baseman and the club's all-time home run leader, is at second.

As the youngest player in the low Class A Midwest League this past summer, Urias hit .290 in 51 games with Fort Wayne (56-for-193) with 16 walks (against 18 strikeouts) for a .370 on-base percentage. Urias played mostly second for the TinCaps, although he also appeared at short and second in a rotation with Ruddy Giron and Josh VanMeter.

In the Arizona Fall League, right-hander Ryan Butler, 23, pitched three scoreless innings in his second start to improve to 3-0 for the Peoria Javelinas with a 1.00 ERA. He has allowed one run on six hits and six walks with five strikeouts in nine innings. He is scheduled to start again Tuesday. Opposing batters are hitting .207 against Butler.

Submarining right-hander Eric Yardley, 25, gave up a hit to the only batter he faced in Saturday's Arizona Fall League All-Star Game. But he has allowed no runs on one hit and a walk over 3 1/3 innings in his last three appearances for Peoria to lower his ERA to 3.24. Yardley is 1-0 with three saves and a .200 opponents' batting average.

Yardley was a California League All-Star and Lake Elsinore's Pitcher of the Year last season in his second full season removed from the independent leagues. He was 2-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 16 saves in 20 chances with the Storm in 2015. He appeared in 47 games with Lake Elsinore and made three appearances (0-1, 5.14 ERA) with Double-A San Antonio.

Outfielder Nick Torres, 22, is hitting .263 in the AFL with two homers and six RBIs in 14 games.

Right-hander Tayron Guerrero, 24, has a 1.69 ERA after five appearances in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has allowed one run on four hits and a walk against four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for Aragua. Guerrero had a 2.76 ERA in 37 appearances for San Antonio last season with 46 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings. He also had a 3.95 ERA in 11 appearances at Triple-A El Paso.

Video: Top Prospects: Tayron Guerrero, RHP, Padres

Right-hander Leonel Campos, 28, has a 3.38 ERA after five appearances for Zulia in Venezuela with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Catcher Austin Hedges (.250 in 14 games with Escogido) and outfielder Rymer Liriano (.255 in 14 games with Licey) each hit their third homers in the Dominican Republic last week.

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