The Los Angeles Dodgers reported to Spring Training last week, and among the pitchers that reported was 18-year-old prospect Julio Urias, who is the youngest player in camp.
The left-hander has been with the Dodgers organization since he was 16, and his quick development and electric 98-mph fastball has elevated him to being one of the Dodgers top prospects. This will be his first extended time with the Dodgers after tossing one scoreless inning last spring.
In an interview with Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Urias admitted that despite being just 18, he wants to contribute at the Major League level this season, whatever the role:
It can be as a starter or a reliever, but my goal is to make it as a starter,” he said. “If there’s an opportunity as a reliever, I’ll take advantage of that.”
The Mexican teenager is believed to begin the season at the Double-A level, after pitching for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga last season. In 87.2 innings he dazzled Dodgers scouts, striking out 109 and yielding a 2.36 ERA.
The Dodgers organization managed his innings last season, which can be hard for a 18-year-old with such exceptional talent:
It feels strange,” Urias said. “They take me out in the third inning. If the team is winning, I can’t get the win. But it’s something they want to do and they’re doing what they think is best for me. I have to get used to it.”
While Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi has not yet set Urias’ innings count for the upcoming season, Urias guessed he would pitch 110-120 innings. We will have to wait and see how many of those (if any) are at the Major League level.
Dodgers FanFest – Chris Hatcher