Participating in big league camp as a non-roster invitee with the Los Angeles Dodgers for a second straight Spring Training, Julio Urias is a boy amongst men at the tender age of 19 years old.
However, what the young lefty lacks in age and experience, he more than makes up for with a talented arm, high level of maturity and strong work ethic. Urias made his Cactus League debut in 2014, starting one game and throwing a perfect frame, complete with two strikeouts.
He appeared in two games as a reliever last spring, tossing a combined two innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking three and striking out two.
At the time only 18 years old, Urias said last February he hoped to make his Major League debut in 2015 — either as a starting pitcher or reliever.
Urias began the season with Double-A Tulsa, but his development was slowed due to cosmetic eye surgery that sidelined him for nearly two months.
Having missed out on his goal last season, Urias is now targeting a Major League debut in 2016, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:
“I have to say,” he said Saturday morning through translator and fellow prospect Jose De Leon, “my goal is to play in the big leagues this year.”
Upon recovering from the elective surgery, Urias started two games with the Arizona League Dodgers and one for High-A Rancho Cucamonga prior to rejoining the Drillers. He finished the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Overall in 2015, Urias was 3-4 with a 2.77 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and averaged 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 13 starts at the Double-A level. His outings with the OKC Dodgers at the end of the season didn’t produce similar results, as the left-hander was 0-1, and posted an 18.69 ERA and 3.92 WHIP over 4.1 innings pitched.
Urias enters this season ranked on several lists of the top prospects across baseball, including being named the No. 1 left-handed prospect by MLB.com. He will turn 20 years old on Aug. 12.