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Last week we discussed some injury updates on some of 2019's biggest prospect names. We'll continue to give you injury updates on notable names in the minors in this space as the season wears on.

But this week we'll turn our attention towards actual minor league performances and those that have turned heads by sprinting out of the gates. The 2019 minor league season kicked off last Thursday, April 4.

Not all prospects get the call to the big leagues because they are performing at a high level on the farm, but it definitely won't hurt their cause in the long run. It's also worth reminding you, the readers, that these early-season numbers will come with the infamous small-sample caveat.

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Padres Call Up Another Infield Prospect

Luis Urias - 2B/SS, San Diego Padres

Urias, the team's No. 3 prospect and No. 23 overall, started the year in the minors and had six hits (one homer) in 18 at-bats in four games over the weekend with Triple-A El Paso before being called up on Monday with outfielder Franchy Cordero (elbow) going on the injured list. Urias also stole one base.

He went 0-for-5 on Monday night with two strikeouts. The 21-year-old played in 12 games in San Diego at the end of last season and struggled in his first taste of major league pitching, hitting just .208 (10-for-48) with two homers, five RBI and 10 strikeouts. A hamstring injury ended his year early.

Despite his struggles in limited big league chances so far, Urias has established himself as a pure hitter down on the farm and was selected to the Futures Game last July. He has a contact-oriented approach with excellent on-base skills, plate discipline and pitch recognition. In 120 games with El Paso last year, Urias slashed an impressive .296/.398/.447 with eight home runs, 45 RBI and two steals.

He could develop more power in his 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame, but he projects to hit for a high average while getting on base frequently. Urias can play both second base and shortstop, but the keystone is where he's most comfortable. While some would argue that Urias should be playing more often than the fading Ian Kinsler at second base, the Friars will practice patience with him and will likely send him back to the minors at some point.

Padres fans can surely get excited about the future up the middle with Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr., but fantasy owners need to practice patience with Urias. Unless Kinsler gets injured, Urias' playing time could be frustrating if he remains in San Diego.

 

Filling in for Turner?

Carter Kieboom - SS, Washington Nationals

Another 21-year-old middle infielder that is knocking on the MLB door is Kieboom. He turned heads in spring training by hitting .279 with three home runs and nine RBI in 25 Grapefruit League games, prompting some to wonder if he'd get the call when Trea Turner fractured his index finger on a bunt attempt last week.

The Nats won't rush their 2016 first-round pick, though, but he continues to hit, going 6-for-18 (.333) with an RBI and steal in his first four games of the year at Triple-A Fresno. The team's No. 2 prospect and No. 23 overall was a triple short of the cycle on Monday night. In 123 games in 2018 between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, Kieboom hit .280 with 16 homers and 31 doubles.

Washington just doesn't have the room for Kieboom, and Turner could return in four to six weeks. Wilmer Difo will hold down the fort in the meantime. The Nats would also like to see Kieboom improve his defense at a premium position. He has done nothing but hit in the minors, though, and he clearly broke out in 2018.

Kieboom was the team's Minor League Player of the Year last season and was tied for first in the organization with 48 extra-base hits, third in home runs (16) and second with 69 RBI. He's comfortable spraying the ball to all fields and has plus bat speed and a balanced swing from the right side. It would be nice if he ran more, but Kieboom's raw power should be on display no later than the 2020 season.

 

The Next Eloy

Luis Robert - OF, Chicago White Sox

Robert, the team's No. 4 prospect and No. 39 overall, is off to an incredible start with High-A Winston-Salem in 2019. In five games and 21 at-bats, he has a .524 average, four home runs, two doubles and 12 RBI. The White Sox are happy to see the results early on, but there is no immediate plan for him to be moved up to Double-A Birmingham.

The 21-year-old Cuban might have the tools to play in the big leagues right now, but he was limited to 186 at-bats and 50 minor league games last year due to thumb injuries. Chicago will continue to evaluate Robert's tools and let him develop over a full season.

What stands out with Robert is his electric bat speed, above-average raw power and speed. The downside is that he swings and misses too much right now and must improve his plate approach in the upper levels of the minors. But if Robert makes good on his potential and 30-30 upside, he could certainly be a regular in Chicago's outfield for the 2020 campaign.

More MLB Prospects Analysis