Julio Urias
(AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Dodgers Left-Handed Pitcher Julio Urias Is Incredibly Underrated

The Dodgers are completely unstoppable from top to bottom. Everyone knows popular names such as Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger but what about the players who deserve more credit? There was an unbelievable supporting cast of players who were instrumental in winning the World Series last year against the Tampa Bay Rays. Their roster is full of blue collar players that are there to get the job done this year. My favorite of these players is no other than left-handed pitcher Julio Urias.

The issue with the Dodgers is that they have a log-jammed pitching staff, which is a good problem to have. When you have Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Trevor Bauer, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, David Price and Dustin May all fighting to be a constant part of the rotation, what do you do? Unfortunately for Julio Urias, this meant he would be bounced from relief to starting spots in the first five seasons of his career. Urias posted a 3.20 earned run average across 239 innings and had 232 strikeouts between 2016-2020. This is a tell-tale sign of what a full season could look like for him as this could make him a Cy Young Candidate for sure.

Urias was downright unhittable for the Dodgers in a long-relief role in the postseason last year. If there was a pitching award for playoff excellence, Urias would’ve won it in a heartbeat. He had a 1.17 earned run average in 23 innings with an opponent batting average of .138 in the postseason. Manager Dave Roberts had so much faith in him that in both the National League Pennant and World Series-clinching games, he closed them both out in extended closing roles.

When he was coming up as a teenager, scouts were comparing his maturity to Fernando Valenzuela. The hardest thing to believe about the 24-year-old Urias is that he’s in his sixth Major League season. It feels like he’s been a Dodger for so long. This is a threat for other teams as he is wise beyond his years.

Los Angeles feels like he’ll be a key piece of their rotation for years to come now. He could have a serious chance to be a Cy Young candidate with the opportunity to pitch an entire 2021 campaign as a starter. His first start proved exceptional, tossing seven innings of three-hit ball against the Colorado Rockies. He only allowed one run and struck out six batters. He earned the win and there will be many more of those to come this season.

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