Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, March 15, 2014

17 Years Old - Mowing Them Down

This is the look of a teenager about to start a game against Major Leaguers.  (photo courtesy of Jon SooHoo at dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com)

Remember this date on your calendar.  March 15, 2014.  It was a day where we saw Julio Urias take out a three major league hitters (and fairly good ones at that) in a 1-2-3 inning.  It was an inning where the kid mixed in what scouts are saying was a 95 MPH fastball followed by darting sliders.  He added to that repertoire some off speed pitches and an occasional curve.

Fourteen pitches total.  Nine were strikes.  Two of those strikes punched out hitters in dazzling style.  One off speed pitch resulted in a weak ground out.  This was reminiscent of Clayton Kershaw knee buckling Sean Casey with that falling of the table Uncle Charlie Curveball in 2007.

Urias is 17 years old if we are to believe his birth certificate.  He’s probably starting the year in High A Rancho Cucamonga.  He has lofty goals to be in the big leagues before the year is over.  The Dodgers in their ever present wisdom are trying to avoid rushing the kid.  We’ve seen careers ruined when teenagers are hurried to the majors.  But if this is what Urias does in the California League, how can you hold him back?

Will Venable, Chris Denorfia and Yonder Alonzo.  1-2-3.   Fans buzzed in the stands and were disappointed that he didn’t come out for the second inning, but maybe it was best to end it this way.  Leave us wanting for more.  Work the kid in slowly.  Build that confidence up.  How many youths are there after all that are pitching in Big League camp at age 17 anyway?  Yeah, that’s right.  Just one.

(photo courtesy of Jon SooHoo at dodgersphotog.mlbblogs.com)

Urias is ranked as the 54th top prospect in the game by Baseball America.  They might need to revisit that list.  Meanwhile, those of you in the southland might want to take a trip out to Rancho Cucamonga every five days, at least early in the season because I have an inkling that Mr. Urias won’t be there too long and the trip to Chattanooga is quite a drive.

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