Dodgers’ Julio Urias’ Case for Top Prospect in Baseball

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Feb 23, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias (78) throws in the bullpen during camp at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias (78) throws in the bullpen during camp at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Later today, MLB.com will release their top 100 prospect list, but until then some of their writers are making a case for five potential number on prospects including, Julio Urias.

The 19 year old, 6’2 pitcher has some high expectations place upon him. Julio Urias was signed by the Dodgers on August 23, 2012, following his 16th birthday.

Julio is the son of Carlos Urias who played on the Mexico national team as a young man. The Dodgers signed Julio Urias on a trip down to Mexico in 2012, which happened to be the same trip Yasiel Puig was signed as well.

Urias made his professional debut on May 25, 2013 with the Great Lakes Loons in Michigan. To no surprise he was the youngest one on the roster, but age had nothing on his talent. In his debut, Urias struck out six batters over three shutout innings. At just the age of 18, Julio was promoted to Double-A where he became not only the youngest pitcher, but the youngest player at any position.

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In 2014, Julio Urias was selected to play in the 2014 All-Star Futures game along side other top prospects at the time like Joey Gallo, Kris Bryant and Corey Seager. Also in the same season Urias earned the honor of being named “Minor League Pitcher of the Year”. That honor earned him an invitation to be a non-roster invitee to the Dodger’s Spring Training camp. During that spring, Urias pitched two innings and had an ERA of 4.50. He was removed from the roster and sent back down to the minors when the season began.

In 2015 at Double-A, he had a record of 3-4 and posted an ERA of 2.77 in a total of 68 1/3 innings. Perhaps what was most impressive, is that in those 68 1/3 innings, Urias struck out 74 and only walked 15 batters.

However, following those stats Urias missed two months of the season because he has surgery to remove a mass form his left eye. After surgery he did have two short starts at Triple-A.

Jesse Sanchez, a reporter for MLB.com originally posted the article about Julio Urias’ potential to be the number one rated prospect. Sanchez not only highlights Urias’ physical ability, but also how his maturity plays a role in the Dodger’s confidence in him.

"What’s more, his physical skills are beyond his years, but he’s also mature for his age. Ask somebody with the Dodgers about Urias, and the first thing mentioned is his arm. The second? His intelligence. Then they talk about his arm and bright future again.The sky is the limit for Urias. He’s on the rise as an elite prospect, and there’s nowhere to go but all the way up to the top."

The Dodgers knew it when they saw the 16 year old pitch in Mexico and their confidence in him and his potential has not changed since. Urias throws three pitches, a fastball, curve and changeup. His most impressive ability is his ability to hit the corners and his fastball has been clocked as high as 97. At just 19 years old, there is no telling how Urias could continue to progress. Again, this year Urias has been invited to the Dodgers Spring Training camp.

This year could be a turning point for the 19 year old. His ability, charisma and positive attitude make every teammate love wearing the same uniform as him. Urias has the potential to start the season with the big league club if everything goes well in spring training. If not, more than likely he will begin the season as a starter on the Triple-A team in Oklahoma.

No matter where he starts the season, there is no denying his ability. Julio Urias’ potential is truly limitless. The Dodgers have one of the best minor league pitchers in Urias and he is still only 19 years old.

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