Saturday, February 28, 2015

" Juliomania "

Photo Credit: Jon Soohoo

"That's how God works, he gave me a bad left eye but a good left arm"
The 18 year old Mexican lefty has benging mass on his left eye that barely allows him to see. But that hasn't stopped him from working towards his ultimate goal, reaching the MLB. Dodgers discovered and signed Urias during the same scouting trip they took to Mexico to look at Puig. He was 16 when he signed with the Dodgers and last year at 17 he was pitching for Rancho Cucamanga. Posting a 2.36 ERA in 20 starts, with 109 strike outs. This phenom, who is now ranked as the Dodgers second best prospect, behind Corey Seager, on average was hitting 96 mph on the radar gun, occasionally touching 98! But that's not what has impressed veteran Dodger catcher A.J Ellis this spring. He caught one of Urias's bullpens this spring, A.J was quoted as saying that what impressed him about Urias was his composure.  A.J loved his tempo and his ability to stay the same through out his bullpen, whether he hit his spot or not. "He has the confidence and the composure of a seasoned veteran," said A.J of Urias. 

Julio Urias might be ready for the big leagues this season, but the Dodgers don't want to rush him. They see him as a starter, potential ace to go along side with Kershaw. With 5+ potential starters this season for the Dodgers and Urias pitching less than 90 innings in the minors last season, you probably won't see him in the rotation come Opening Day. He might be up in September, Dodgers could use him out of the pen. But with Coulombe, who pitched in the majors last year, and Chris Reed, who was a closer at Stanford, now in the 40 man roster, Urias might have to wait. 

Compared to fellow Mexican native Fernando Valenzuela, who made his MLB debut for the Dodgers at the age of 19, Julio Urias is an exciting Dodger prospect to follow. Wether he gets called up in September or follows in one of his idol's foot steps and makes his MLB debut next year at 19, one thing is for sure... "Juliomania" will soon arrive to Chavez Ravine, and will be here to stay. 

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