NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Gio Urshela #29 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting a 2-run home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 15, 2020 in New York City.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

From unknown minor league player to unstoppable starting third baseman, Gio Urshela has been a godsend for the New York Yankees.

Allison Case

2020 is a year brimming with questions. It has been nothing short of absurd in all facets of the world with darkness all around. But for the New York Yankees, there have been some impressive bright spots. In particular, the evolution of Gio Urshela from floundering minor league player to reliable everyday hero for the New York Yankees is astounding.

Urshela started his career in the Cleveland Indians organization, working his way up the ladder to become the No. 5 prospect in the system in 2015. After that, he got a few tastes of the big leagues but never enough to make a difference. That’s when Brian Cashman found him rotting away in the Toronto Blue Jays system and acquired him for an absolute steal.

Gio Urshela wasn’t even sniffing the Opening Day roster when he came over to the Bronx for the 2019 season. However, injuries quickly changed the course of the season and Urshela was given a shot in pinstripes.

All that was known about Urshela was his impressive defensive abilities, something the Yankees were lacking in the hot corner even with Miguel Andujar. Offensively, his numbers weren’t that impressive. But the Yankees system once again proves why it is the best in the game.

Upon his arrival to the system, the Yankees began working with him on shortening his swing and helping to bring more power to his plate presence. It became very clear upon his first stint in the Bronx that Urshela wanted to stay and was taking this advice to heart.

While big names like DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge are stealing the thunder, Gio Urshela has been quietly bringing the heat. After 132 games in 2019 and ending the season with a .314/.355/.534 line, Urshela started out 2020 slow but has since become a reliable piece in the lineup.

Not only reliable with his .269 average, but he has the ability to hit up and down the lineup. He has batted in five of the nine positions in the batting order so far this season. With the most games in the eight-hole (and also his best average), Urshela is bringing confidence to the bottom of the order.

Gio’s not just making a difference at the plate. He’s also providing a spark in the field, returning as a top-tier defender at third base. With Miguel Andujar struggling to find his footing in the field, Urshela stepped in and immediately found his home. Thank goodness or the New York Yankees would have had to search for outside help to fill the role.

All in all, Gio Urshela began his career and continues his career as an underrated hero. 2020 is proving that Urshela is a valuable asset to this team.

He will never hit 30 home runs. He won’t be known as a severe threat at the plate. But Gio Urshela is doing just enough to help keep the Yankees on track for their winning ways.

With time to grow, Gio Urshela has a lot of potential and he’s starting out his career in the Bronx the right way by proving he’s not just a fluke.

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