Urias was ranked the top left-handed pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline, and has also garnered hype as the next Fernando Valenzuela. The Dodgers found the teenager in Mexico on the same trip that brought Yasiel Puig to the team. He has been carefully monitored the past two seasons, as the Dodgers try to make sure he develops with no issues. While some believe he has the tools to pitch in the big leagues, the Dodgers are taking the slow route.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t think he’ll call on the 18-year-old this year:
Can you see Julio Urias in LA this year? Mattingly: "Probably not. I don't think that's part of the plan."
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) February 21, 2015
It was speculated that Urias will start the season in Double-A after spending last season in Advanced-A. In two seasons, the lefty has accumulated a 2.41 ERA in 142 innings pitcher. He has struck out 176 batters compared to just 53 walks as a teenager. Though he’s been hyped, Urias understands the Dodgers plan to ease him along.
Urias was invited to big-league camp this spring, and will get some time on the mound with the Dodgers. Last spring, he tossed a scoreless inning against the San Diego Padres. While Mattingly doesn’t believe Urias will be in LA this season, a few injuries could potentially change that plan. Urias could be a game-changing arm in the later innings during a pennant run.
Although it may be two years until Urias reaches the Majors, it’s an exciting idea of seeing the left-hander on the mound in Chavez Ravine.
Dodgers FanFest 2015