There’s some hype surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, and it’s not just about those players that look to defend their NL West title.
Top prospects Corey Seager and Julio Urias were invited to camp, giving the spring a preview of what could be in Los Angeles. While Seager is considered the team’s overall top prospect, Urias is the one drawing the hype early on in camp because of his age and composure. A.J. Ellis recently caught a bullpen from the left-hander, coming away impressed.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, there’s a former American League Cy Young winner that will have his eye in Dodgers camp:
“I’m going to watch him in spring training,” Hernandez, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner, told me this week.
Hernandez is the last teenager to start a game in the Majors, making his debut at the age of 19 in 2005. The Mariners ace is now a 10-year veteran and a perennial Cy Young candidate.
Urias is currently 18 and won’t turn 19 until August, but Dodgers management have expressed that the plan is for the teenager to remain in the minors this season. Stranger things have happened, and if needed, the Dodgers would have to consider bringing up Urias this season. He’s faced Major League hitters just once, tossing a scoreless inning last spring against the San Diego Padres.
While Urias has yet to garner any comparisons to Hernandez, he has been compared to another Mexican teenager that pitched for the Dodgers: Fernando Valenzuela. Back in 1980, the then 19-year-old started his career out of the bullpen before winning Cy Young and Rookie of the Year in 1981. The Dodgers can only hope that Urias can follow a similar path.
Whether he reaches the big leagues this season, it’s exciting to think of Urias pitching at Dodger Stadium.