Los Angeles Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax has long been around greatness, not just including himself.
From playing alongside Don Drysdale in the 1960s, to watching Don Sutton, Fernando Valenzuela and Clayton Kershaw dominate in Dodger blue, Koufax has seen about as many dominant pitchers as anyone in baseball.
When the 79-year-old southpaw arrived at the Camelback Ranch Thursday to watch the Dodgers’ first full-squad workout, he was impressed by a fellow southpaw looking to carve out a legacy of his own.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Koufax spoke highly of Dodgers left-handed prospect Julio Urias after watching Urias pitch for the first time:
“He’s very impressive,” Koufax said. “This is the first time I’ve seen him throw. It’s a long way from the driving range to the golf course. It’s a long way from side sessions to the game. He has all the requisites. We just have to see what happens. Physically, he’s very impressive.”
Koufax, a three-time Cy Young Award winner who now serves as a special advisor for the Dodgers, came away saying some of the same things said by A.J. Ellis. But for an icon like Koufax to have such glowing praise for an 18-year-old pitcher who will likely spend at least one more season in the Minor Leagues, it says a lot.
Urias has impressed many in the organization since last March, when he received a surprise call-up to Camelback Ranch near the end of last year’s Spring Training. New Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi recently called Urias “the total package” after watching him pitch for the first time.
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