Julio Urias, the 20-year-old uber-prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has only pitched 57 innings so far this year. He’s been limited in every such way, as teams are increasingly becoming aware of innings limits and arm care. Urias has been effective thus far in spot start appearances for the Dodgers, hurling six shutout innings with six strikeouts and a win on Sunday. Urias is highly touted with an arsenal of above-average pitches, yet his most impressive trait may be one that flies under the radar, his ability to pick off runners.
In fact, Urias leads all major league pitchers with five pickoffs so far this season. He has done this despite having pitched 120 innings fewer than Madison Bumgarner, who is tied for second with four pickoffs on the year. Urias uses the move made famous by longtime Yankee Andy Pettite who was notorious for having a knack to pick off runners.
Although the sample size is small, his pickoff move is very impressive and hard to pick up on as a baserunner. Leading the league in the category proves that Urias has mastered all aspects of pitching while only recently turning 20 years old. It will be very fun to watch him and fellow southpaw Clayton Kershaw in the following years to come.