16-year-old Julio Urias dazzles in pro debut for Great Lakes

Jared Sandler | ESPN 100.9

The 16-year old pitched three scoreless innings in his pro debut for Class-A Great Lakes on Sunday, with six strikeouts.

Normally a starting pitcher throwing three innings for Class-A Great Lakes isn't big news, but Sunday is different. That starter was Julio Urias, a 16-year-old the Dodgers signed last August out of Mexico, and he struck out six of the 11 batters he faced in his professional debut.

Loons play-by-play voice Jared Sandler reported that Urias, again just 16 years old, was between 88-94 mph on his fastball, and also mixed in a curve and change up. The 5'11", 160-pound Urias allowed just two hits and a walk, and didn't allow a run.

Urias signed with the Dodgers on Aug. 17, 2012, for a bonus of an unknown amount but believed to be over $1 million. Because he was technically a transfer from the Mexican League, only a quarter of his signing bonus counts against the international signing cap of $2.9 million.

Brandon Lennox ranked Urias the Dodgers' 17th-best prospect during the offseason.

Craig Minami spoke with Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus during spring training, and Parks was high on Urias.

"He's a long way from doing anything but if this kid goes to complex league next year and starts turning heads, and when a kid has three pitches that he can throw for strikes, from left side, he's going to make some waves, he's going to turn some heads," Parks said. "It may take a couple of years but it is a good signing."

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