This is the moment that we have been waiting for, folks. Julio Urias is being called-up by the Dodgers, and will start on Friday, May 27 against the Mets. The top left-handed pitching prospect in baseball is here. This is not a drill. The 19-year-old Urias will be making his big league debut more than two months prior to his twentieth birthday. Get excited.
Here is what Jarrod Pilgrim wrote about Urias on our Dodgers top-ten prospects list:
At only 19 years old Julio Urias may be the safest prospect in all of minor league baseball. He has the ceiling of a #1 starter and the floor of a #3 starter. Urias carries a 3 pitch arsenal in which all 3 pitches grade above-average. Urias excelled in the Texas League, at only 18 years old, compiling an impressive 2.77 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 74 K's over 68.1 IP.
Urias has a chance of sneaking into the Dodgers rotation in 2016. Zack Greinke's departure to the Arizona Diamondbacks should open a spot in the backend of the Dodgers rotation. The decision to fill the backend of the rotation with a prospect will most likely come down to Jose De Leon and Julio Urias, with De Leon more likely to get the first shot. Even if Urias does see the big leagues in 2016, you should temper your expectations, as the Dodgers will look to limit his innings over the next couple of years.
Through eight games (seven starts) at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Urias has pitched to the following line: 41.0 IP, 24 H, 8 BB, 44 K, 1.10 ERA, 2.89 FIP. Urias is the youngest player in the PCL (a hitter's league) by nearly two years, and has been utterly dominant nevertheless. He has allowed no runs in six of eight appearances, and has not allowed a run since April 22 (his third appearances of the season). In short, Urias has been incredible.
This does not quite come as a shock, either. Urias is an incredibly advanced pitcher, with three plus to double-plus pitches in his low-to-mid 90s fastball (with great movement), a violently spinning curveball, and a change-up that is all but indistinguishable from his fastball from its release. He combines that stuff with elite control and above-average command. The only real flaw on his resume is his lack of innings - he has not thrown more than 87.2 IP in a season and, while he has not suffered a baseball-related injury (his missed time with eye surgery last year), it does lead to questions about his durability. To be fair, that is not a piddling concern; but, in the eyes of many, that is the only real issue with Urias' performance thus far.
At this moment, we are all wondering whether Urias is here to stay. The state of the Dodgers rotation suggests that he should have a genuine opportunity - only Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda have been average or better this season, and Scott Kazmir and Ross Stirpling have been downright bad. Hyun-Jin Ryu should be back in a couple of weeks, but he's working off over a season's worth of rust. And the Dodgers as an organization have not shied away from benching players that are under-performing, which could work out in Urias' favor.
All that being said, I think Urias will be in the Majors as long as his performance dictates, not unlike Nomar Mazara. And I would bid accordingly, for the potential stud pitcher that should contribute in every category.