While most 18-year-olds are deciding which college to go attend, Julio Urias is concerned with much different issues.
Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers top pitching prospect, is working to become a Major League pitcher as a teenager. He is currently in camp with the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee and had his first bullpen session this past week, showing characteristics of maturity and poise.
Dodgers catcher A.J Ellis caught the bullpen and was impressed by his growth and skills, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I’d like to know how old he really is because there’s no way a kid 18 years old can have that type of composure,” Ellis joked. “That’s what was most impressive to me, his tempo, his ability to stay in the moment.
Ellis was also impressed at the fact that Urias was consistent throughout his entire bullpen session:
Most guys you catch who are in their first big-league camp, they’re throwing 100 mph because of the adrenaline. I’ve caught guys in the past who, when they miss their spot, try to do more the next time. He just stayed the same the whole time. He has the confidence and the composure of a seasoned veteran guy.”
Urias is the youngest player in camp and has already spent two years in the Minor Leagues after being signed as a 16-year-old. In 2014, he pitched for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at 17, finishing with a 2.36 ERA in 25 games (20 starts). In 87.2 innings, the left-hander struck out 109 batters.
With the season around the corner, Urias has high hopes of being able to reach the big leagues this season and with the way his career has started, it wouldn’t be far-fetched.
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