Analyzing Top Dodgers Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees
Analyzing Top Dodgers Non-roster Spring Training Invitees
Ron Cervenka-Think Blue LA

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The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their annual non-roster invitees to Spring Training on Monday, with this year’s number totaling 16 players.

While the usual suspects included fringe Major Leaguers, there are also a handful of intriguing names on the list.

It includes six pitchers, five infielders/outfielders, three catchers and two infielders.

With the crop of players slated to spend time in big league, let’s examine what their chances are of breaking camp with the Dodgers.

Julio Urias

Obviously, Urias is the biggest name on the list. The 19-year-old lefty has established himself as the best southpaw in the Minor Leagues.

Last season, he posted a 3.81 ERA in 18 starts with 88 strikeouts and 22 walks in 80.1 innings. He features an advanced four-pitch mix and projects as a No. 2 starter. The downside is workload.

Obviously, a player of Urias’ age hasn’t logged a ton of innings and the Dodgers have been very careful to limit his usage. While 2015 could have been the year for him to really test his limits, he wound up having surgery a month into the season, which cost him two months worth of starts. He finished 2015 with 7.1 fewer innings than he logged in 2014.

Urias is definitely a starter and should continue to develop as one, though the team did flirt with the idea of bringing him up as a reliever last September. However, a pair of disaster starts in Triple-A Oklahoma City quashed that plan.

Urias will return with the OKC Dodgers this season, where he’ll need to show he’s capable of handling a larger workload. If everything goes right, there’s a chance he could make his Major League debut in September.

Jose De Leon

From 24th-rounder to top prospect, De Leon’s rise through the Minor League ranks has been nothing short of meteoric. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican righty broke out in 2014 and continued his dominance last season, posting an ERA of 2.99 in 114.1 innings while striking out an astonishing 12.8 batters per nine innings.

After dominating the California League for a couple months, De Leon faced his first real challenge in Double-A Tulsa. His ERA rose to 3.64 with the Drillers and he allowed 11 home runs in 16 starts, but still managed to strike out 105 batters.

De Leon missed a few starts with a back issue, but was still able to increase his workload by roughly 40 innings from 2014. He probably needs one more year in the upper Minors to build innings before he’s ready to join the Dodgers.

There’s no rush to get De Leon into the Major-League rotation, as the team’s depth in that department is unrivaled. With a healthy and productive 2016 campaign, most likely between both Double-and Triple-A, De Leon will be ready to force his way into the Dodgers’ rotation in 2017.

CONTINUE READING: Analyzing Cody Bellinger, Chris Anderson and Kyle Farmer