The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Minor League system was depleted under Frank McCourt’s control and has slowly been rebuilt with Guggenheim now running the Dodgers.
While the farm system doesn’t yet have the depth it once possessed, the Dodgers have a well-known trio of elite prospects in Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias. Pederson began the season as arguably the most touted, but it’s an honor that has since been bestowed on Seager.
However, Urias has made his way into the conversation as to which prospect may have the most promise. For Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson, watching Urias pitch last season elicited a reaction not even Clayton Kershaw could evoke, via Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com:
When I went to watch him pitch in the Midwest League, my hands started sweating,” Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson said. “We had Clayton Kershaw in the Midwest League during my first year with the Dodgers, and my hands didn’t sweat with him. I’ve never seen a kid this talented, this young. It’s crazy.
Urias was with Low-A Great Lakes in 2013, though Watson said the young left-hander had the talent to pitch at the Double-A level:
When Urias was in the Midwest League, he could have gone to Double-A if you took his age out of it and just went with his ability and stuff. His ability to read swings and to adjust what hitters are trying to do to him is impressive.”
Urias was just 16 years old for much of the 2013 season and he started 18 games for the Loons. The lefty turned 18 on Aug. 12 and has recorded nine strikeouts in each of his three starts since becoming a legal adult.
While Pederson, who recently was named the Pacific Coast League MVP, is expected to join the Dodgers in September, and Seager, the California League MVP, is set to play in the Arizona Fall League, the Dodgers will likely continue to ease the workload Urias assumes.
Urias has started 19 of the 24 games he’s pitched in for the Quakes with his longest outing a 5.1-inning effort in his most recent start.
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