Los Angeles Dodgers uber-prospect Julio Urias is one of the game’s most tantalizing young stars. The 19-year old native of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico has done nothing short of taking baseball by storm ever since he stepped on the mound in the Dodgers farm system. He’s been so impressive that scouts from other teams are starting to break him down publicly.
Justin Goetz, a Washington Nationals scout in the Southeast, does this really awesome thing where he uploads videos to Instagram and breaks down the prospect that the video is about in absolute full detail. It’s truly quite astonishing. A couple weeks ago, the talented Goetz did a video breakdown of left-hander Julio Urias.
From Justin Goetz’s (@mlbscoutbreakdowns) official Instagram page:
Muscle memory & Tempo: Attacking the Corners- Julio Urias LHP LA(#1 pitching prospect in MLB)- 1. Julio's tempo is the exact same on all 5 pitches shown. He has a medium-fast pace, with no slowing of the delivery(causes added effort+arm spd loss). His foot pattern stays the same, and he lands in the same spot each pitch. His leg swing can cause some recoil when going inside(see 5th pitch). Recoil is caused by landing very hard, or on back of the foot. But more importantly, Urias attacks the zone each pitch w/ big extension of the arm & chest. This allows him to lessen the effect of recoil & still deliver a successful pitch. The other 4 pitches, Julio lands softly with slight bend in the stride leg to help him finish. 2. Muscle Memory: Notice the flow of his lower half- slight bend in knees, takes foot alone in side step(same spot each pitch). Notice how his drive foot does not slide or leave from where it starts, it just rotates. This allows his body to stay balanced, and keeps him on his legs the entire delivery without thinking. Up down & out the same each pitch, creating timing and flow with the upper half. Almost Japan-Korea-Taipei style lower half, creating optimal torque & gaining ground. Remember, a non repetitive lower half creates a badly timed upper half. Upper Half: every part of your body has muscle memory. Notice how Julio's arm speed never changes no matter the pitch. This prevents the hitter from "sitting" on a pitch, as he's just thinking everything looks hard & aggressive. His muscles remember to be on time w/ hand break & lift knee, creating a smooth drop from the glove(loose, gradual arm speed). This is a very lengthy full circle 3/4 arm action with very minimal effort. Julio will also drop slot(create more run) & raise slot to create more sink on his pitches. 3. Pitchability- Being able to throw strikes & mantain efficiency while changing slots shows advanced pitchability(Julio is only 18). His balance(chest over feet) allows him to have the same FB life to both corners consistently(on other videos) with rare misses. Many LHP cut inside pitches and loose the ability to freeze a RHH. Establishes low & away, and then attacks late in counts w/
There’s a ton of information there, believe me. It’d take you a long, long time to read through it. Basically, the gist of it is that Urias is as consistent of a pitcher there is when it comes to his muscle memory, tempo, arm slot, and landing spot. In essence, Urias is a unicorn in the industry since he’s got all of this down at the ripe age of 19.
That wasn’t all Goetz wrote, though. The first comment he left was this:
This is a future #1 who could have the impact of Fernando Valenzuela on the city of Los Angeles.
Now that is some high praise for Urias, but it’s not a shocking comparison. After all, Valenzuela came out of Mexico and was a talented left-hander that excelled at a young age much like Urias is doing right now. That’s the beauty of that comparison in the first place.
If Urias is able to put together a career even close to Valenzuela’s then the Dodgers can definitely consider themselves lucky. If he exceeds that, then look out. Urias will likely begin 2016 at Triple-A, with the probability of making the Opening Day roster in 2017.