Los Angeles Dodgers Prospect Julio Urias
I read a post on mlbtraderumors.com today stating that the Dodgers are trying hard to put together a package for Cole Hamels, but aren’t willing to include either of the two top prospects, Urias and Corey Seager. With three days left before the end of the trade deadline, that doesn’t mean much.
Anyway, I was reminded of Urias, probably for the first time since my March 2014 article. He’s still looking like a tremendous prospect, although he missed a month this season for eye surgery to correct a congenital defect that prevented him from opening his left eye more than a crack. A one-eyed pitcher who dominates his leagues in his teens — Urias is really something!
Missing a month of the 2015 season is probably the best thing that could have happened to Julio. I don’t know how you develop a pitcher who’s this good this young, and I don’t think the Dodgers really know either.
In the minor leagues, you can limit his starts to four or five innings and limit him to 25 starts a year. Once he hits the Show, however, the realities of roster space and a pitcher with this talent means he’s going to get over-worked by his second MLB season at the latest.
The best place for Urias, when he’s 20 years old and ready to crack the Dodgers’ roster, would probably be as a set-up man out of the bullpen with a role like that of Sergio Romo a few years ago, when the Giants were really careful about how many innings their small right-hander threw and received really tremendous results as a result of his carefully limited use.
That will work only as long as the Dodgers keep Urias in such a role and can’t be counted on if Urias continues to pitch as well as he has so far. There’s always a risk that a pitcher this young this good will end up as the next David Clyde, rather than as a true star, because it’s so hard to resist overworking him once he reaches the major league level.