Dodgers Have Top LHP Prospect, Fifth Best RHP Prospect
By Alex Campos
MLB.com is rolling out their top prospects lists, and the Dodgers have a top prospect in each of the first two lists.
The Dodgers farm system has been incredibly strong of late, and this year is no exception.
MLB.com is in the midst of releasing their top prospects in baseball, having announced the top right handed pitching prospects on Tuesday and the top left handed pitching prospects Wednesday.
The Dodgers are represented on both lists, with Jose De Leon ranking as the fifth best right handed pitching prospect and Julio Urias taking the top spot on the left handed list.
De Leon was the 23rd rated prospect in baseball in 2015, behind two other Dodger minor leaguers. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican hurler has been in the Dodger system for three years and after a rough 2013, he posted sub-3.00 ERA’s in 2014 and 2015 and made his way up to AA-Tulsa last year. MLB’s scouting report on De Leon said his fastball and slider were both legit swing-and-miss pitches, but last year his changeup surpassed the slider as his best secondary pitch. With three potentially + pitches and improving control, De Leon has the ceiling of a top-line starter.
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De Leon ranked fifth on the right-handed list, behind Lucas Giolito (Nationals), Tyler Glasnow (Pirates), Alex Reyes (Cardinals) and Jose Berrios (Twins).
De Leon sort of emerged out of nowhere, which is definitely not the case for Urias. The Dodgers signed Urias as a 16-year-old in 2012 and he was immediately dominant, posting a 2.48 ERA in 54 innings at A-Great Lakes. When I was 16, I broke my collarbone playing JV football.
Urias dominated at high-A Rancho in 2014, which was the only time I’ve seen him pitch in person. He didn’t pitch particularly well when I saw him pitch in a game that year, but to see an 18 year old wiggle out of trouble as well as he did was impressive.
Urias started one game at Rancho in 2015 and pitched poorly, but was promoted to AA-Tulsa and dominated once again. He posted a 2.77 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 68 innings at Tulsa, which was interrupted by eye surgery in May. The surgery could have helped Urias keep his pitch count down and possibly begin his Dodger career when rosters expanded, but Urias struggled hard at AAA allowing nine runs in four innings, and will almost certainly spend most of this year in the minors.
Urias was the fourth best prospect in 2015, and the second-highest Dodger on the list. Corey Seager, who will undoubtably be either the best or second best prospect in baseball entering this year, was the Dodgers’ top prospect last year and number two in all of baseball.
Next: Dodgers Sign Joe Blanton
MLB.com will continue rolling out top-10 prospect lists for the rest of this week and finishing it up next week. The final top-100 list will be revealed Friday, January 29th, with the top-50 being revealed on an hour long special on MLB Network. The Dodgers will likely be well-represented on most of the lists.