Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

Julio Urias was center stage on Sunday when he took the mound to throw live batting practice on one of the backfields at Camelback Ranch.

Urias had already impressed A.J. Ellis, who caught the young left-hander’s first bullpen session, and Sandy Koufax after the Hall of Famer got the opportunity to watch Urias pitch for the first time. In front of a crowd that included Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi and several media members, Urias dazzled once more.

The 18 year old struck out Joc Pederson on just three pitches and the outfielder later seemed in awe of Urias, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:

He’s 18 and he’s throwing 96,” Pederson said. “It’s not normal.”

Chris Heisey was among the batters who faced Urias, and he too complimented the left-hander:

I was impressed with his command,” Heisey said. “That change-up, away to righties would be devastating. I was really impressed with what I saw from him.”

While none of the hitters Urias faced Sunday fared particularly well, Alex Guerrero may have had the most trouble based on his comments, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:

I couldn’t see the ball,” Guerrero said in Spanish. “When he threw a fastball, I couldn’t see it. The movement was distinct. He threw me two high fastballs, but I couldn’t see them. I swung for the sake of swinging, but I couldn’t see them.”

Urias threw 87.2 innings in 25 games (20 starts) with High-A Rancho Cucamonga last season with his workload being monitored throughout the year. He nonetheless managed to collect 109 strikeouts, which was good for an 11.9 average per nine innings.

Ranked as one of the top prospects in the Dodgers’ organization, and the best left-handed Minor League pitcher by MLBPipeline.com, Urias has set a goal of reaching the Majors in 2015. While his talent may suggest it’s something he’s capable of handling, the Dodgers have been reluctant to the idea thus far. Instead, it appears Urias will begin the 2015 season in Double-A.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

7 Responses

  1. Tmax

    There will be room in the rotation next year. Especially if Grienke opts out. Also Anderson only one year. Of course a rotation of Kershaw, Grienke, Urias, McCarthy and Ryu does sound incredible. Wow that would be amazing!

    Reply
    • Michael N. Norris

      T… the kid is 18..He is going to be pitching in AA ball this year on a 160 inning limit. There is no reason to rush, and no reason to think the kid will be that much more ready next year. His body is not even close to being mature and ready for a 162 game schedule.

      Reply
      • Casey Lenoch

        What about Mad Bum or Kershaw? They seemed to be ready. I’m optimistic he will at least get some innings next year whether it be bullpen or a few starts.

      • Michael N. Norris

        They were both in their 20’s before they came to the bigs..what is the big rush? Look, I am old enough to remember the Rangers bringing a kid in right out of high school. He had stuff almost as good as this kid. Let him mature at least a year or 2. No need to bring him up sooner than that. And to screw his head up having him come out of the pen is nuts. Maybe a September start if the issue is no longer in doubt, but he is on an innings limit and he will be in AA ball. Nothing worse to a kids confidence than to come to the bigs and get lit up ……Next year,, 2016….he might get a few innings, but there is no reason to bring him up this year.

      • Tmax

        Michael I agree with not this year unless they bring him up for a Sept call up. But next year will be tempting if Grienke opts out. Which he will I think if he is healthy this year. It looks like the FO plans well ahead. There will be two slots open next year with Anderson and Grienke out. They will have the opportunity to re-sign Anderson, take their option for Beachy depending on how he does, and bring up Urias. And it will be relatively in-expensive. From the talk about him this year I think it will be very difficult to not bring him up next year and very tempting with the slots open. The FA pitchers next year Cueto, Zimmerman etc are going to go for a ton of money but also contracts over more years than they will want to sign them for. I think the new guys have this covered in a controlled way. After 2016 we have a couple of kids coming up this is Atlanta redux thank you Stan.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Well , there is a lot of talk about Greinke opting out, but look at it this way, If he want’s to leave that bad, let him go. I think those opt out contracts are bad things anyway. But if Zack has a so so year, it might be in his favor not to try and get a new deal. So much can happen. He also has had shoulder and leg problems the last couple of years and his value might not be as high as he thinks. There are at least 4 starters in the minors that will merit looks the next couple of years. Urias, Reed, Holmes and if he has a good year at AAA this year Lee. I prefer to go the trade route on a starter if Zack leaves. Contracts for pitchers are such an iffy thing anyway. If Beachy is over his arm troubles, he has enough experience and chops to get the job done……But there is going to be another turnover next winter, with 3 free agents on the infield, contracts expiring in the BP, and they will have to address the OF situation once and for all…

      • Tmax

        Bear as usual I believe you are dead on. They have to address the OF. If Seager has a great year in AAA I think he plays SS. If they sign the Cuban Oliveras he would be slated for Second or Third. I would think Kendrick will be offered an extension but Dipoto mentioned they would love to get him back. It will be interesting to see if Guererro plays some Third this year as I think he will settle down and hit. But he may be gone this year also. If Beachy is OK he would be slated in the rotation and could be a 2 or 3. It could be Kershaw Ryu, Beachy, McCarthy and one of the kids. We will see. Tomorrow they start the game. PLAY BALL !!

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