With Joc Pederson and Corey Seager in the process of making an impact in the Majors, the next Los Angeles Dodgers prospect many are awaiting is Julio Urias. Coming off a bit of an interrupted 2015 season, the young lefty was named the top left-handed prospect in the Minors on Wednesday.
It was the second consecutive year Urias was named the top Minor-League lefty by MLBPipeline.com. Prior to undergoing elective surgery on his left eye that forced Urias to miss two months, the expectation was he would be among the Dodgers’ September call-ups.
While the organization didn’t rule out promoting Urias in spite of the time missed, Los Angeles has carefully ushered along the 19 year old.
Urias threw 87.2 innings over 25 games (20 starts) with High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014. Pitching for multiple Minor League affiliates last season, he totaled 80.1 innings in 18 starts.
Last year the Mexican native was one of 17 players extended a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Most notably, he was joined by Seager. Both presumably will be with the Dodgers again this spring, though Seager’s participation won’t be on a non-roster invite.
Still working his way toward a Major-League debut, Urias said he’s comfortable with the praise that’s been heaped on his shoulders, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“The truth is, I’m proud that they’ve given me that high praise,” Urias said in New York. “It gives me strength to keep working, work harder and achieve the goal I have in my mind.”
As for the pitching depth the Dodgers front office has accumulated over the last two years and how it may negatively impact him, Urias is confident the organization has his best interest in mind:
“As I’ve always said, you just have to do your job,” Urias said. “A lot of times you might know that you could have what it takes to be on the big league team, but they’re the ones who know what’s best. I’ve always said that the team wants what’s best for you and as I said before, I hope this is the year they can give me an opportunity. But if not, I’ll have to keep working and above all, have patience.”
Urias figures to spend this season with the Drillers and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Last year he was 3-4 with a 2.77 ERA and 0.99 WHIP at the Double-A level. He finished the season in OKC, going 0-1 with a 18.69 ERA and 3.92 WHIP in 4.1 innings pitched over two starts.
Prior to re-joining the Drillers after his eye surgery, Urias made two rehab starts with the Arizona League Dodgers and one for the Quakes.