The Dodgers announced today that teenage LHP Julio Urias will be called up to make his major-league debut on Friday in New York against the defending National League champion Mets. His statistics in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this year have been cartoonish. In eight appearances, Urias has thrown 41 innings, allowed 24 hits, 8 walks, and accrued 44 strikeouts. He sports a 1.10 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP — versus the PCL averages of 4.36 and 1.40, respectively. All of it at the age of 19, a full eight years younger than the average Pacific Coast Leaguer.
When he debuts on Friday, Urias will be the youngest player in Major League Baseball and the first pitcher to debut as a teenager since Madison Bumgarner in 2009. Not bad for a kid whom the Dodgers discovered in the Mexican League (and later signed for $450,000) on the back end of a scouting trip that also netted them Yasiel Puig.
Urias’ repertoire and usage thereof is advanced. His fastball is plus and will sit 91-95 while touching 97. However, it can be fairly straight, and even features some natural cut at times, but Urias generally commands it down or below the zone and to both sides of the plate. He generates lots of ground balls when he’s not catching hitters looking on the corners or blowing away the ones who struggle with velocity. The heater is complemented by a plus low-80s curveball and an 82-85 mph changeup that is consistently above average. Urias’ usage of his repertoire is just as (if not more) impressive than his pure stuff. You’ll see him back door and back foot the curveball to right-handed hitters, pitch backwards with it to lefties and rarely leave a secondary pitch hanging in a place where it can be punished.