Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Dodgers list
The Top Ten
1. Julio Urias
Height/Weight: 5’11” 160 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2012, Mexico
Previous Ranking: On The Rise
2013 Stats: 2.48 ERA (54.1 IP, 44 H, 67 K, 16 BB) in Low-A Great Lakes
The Tools: 7 potential FB; 6+ potential CH; 6 potential CB
What Happened in 2013: As a 16-year-old, Urias fluttered the hearts of many a prospectphile, jumping straight to the Midwest League and showing three above-average pitches, including a fastball that touched plus velocity in each start.
Strengths: Advanced pitchability; taller than listed height (more like 6’1’’); easy and repeatable delivery; fastball works 91-93; touches 95 frequently; multiple fastball looks and actions; turns over highly projectable changeup with good arm speed deception and fading action; projects as easy plus offering (and possibly higher); spins average curveball that already flashes plus potential, with a tight rotation and depth; above-average command projection; makeup for accelerated developmental schedule.
Weaknesses: Body could prove to be high maintenance; will need to maintain weight and athleticism as he matures; several sources question arsenal projection (more polish and present than projection); changeup can get too firm and lose action; limited exposure or experience with longer looks (starts).
Overall Future Potential: High 6; no. 2 starter
Realistic Role: 6; no. 3 starter
Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; mature stuff but 17 years old.
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: The fantasy profile here is just something we are really not used to seeing from an ETA standpoint, even if the stuff is more comfortable for evaluation. This could be an arm who impacts all four categories strongly—especially with that changeup as a big strikeout weapon against right-handed hitters. But the innings limits he’s likely to be facing at the beginning of his career (if he does reach the majors in the next two seasons) will hurt his value slightly. Invest heavily, but wisely.
The Year Ahead: Urias is a very advanced prospect who could see the Double-A level at some point in the 2014 season, and perhaps reach the majors before his 19th birthday in 2015. The Mexican southpaw pitches well off his fastball, showing multiple looks, including a four-seamer he can push into the mid-90s when he needs it, and backing up the fastball with two secondary offerings that can already play as average and flash plus potential. I haven’t seen a pitcher this advanced at this age since I started scouting, and if Urias can add strength and maintain his body without losing his delivery and command profile, his stuff will allow him to find results regardless of the level, major leagues included.
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