At this point, we’re all well aware of the type of treatment Julio Urias received after having one of the best seasons in the MLB last year. But hopefully, this is the year people start to pay him the attention and respect he deserves.
And that starts at the World Baseball Classic.
But this wasn’t his first time being selected to play in the March Tornament. In 2017, he was invited to play for Team Mexico but Urias, being only 20-years-old at the time, wasn’t allowed to pitch due to his innings limit at the time.
So not only will this year’s WBC be a chance to prove himself after being snubbed of both an All-Star nod and the Cy Young Award, but it will also be a chance to avenge himself after five years.
After posting a career-best 2.16 ERA and 17-7 record, with 166 strikeouts, it’s time people finally start recognizing Urias for what he is: a weapon.
MLB.com recently issued an article naming the best player at each position in this year’s World Baseball Classic and atop the list for left-handed pitchers was Julio Urias.
Left-handed starting pitcher: Julio Urías, Mexico
Honorable mentions: Clayton Kershaw, United States; José Quintana, Colombia; Nestor Cortes, United States
Though he doesn’t have the hardware to show it (yet), Urías has been one of the very best starting pitchers in baseball the past three seasons, over which he had a 2.66 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 415 2/3 innings for the Dodgers. He’s a huge reason Los Angeles won the World Series in 2020, and has been able to weather injuries that depleted the starting rotation during that period. The third-place finisher in 2022 NL Cy Young Award voting will be taking the mound for his native Mexico for the first time in the WBC.
Urias will join Dodgers teammate Austin Barnes in representing Team Mexico this March. Kershaw, Betts, and Will Smith will take the field for Team USA, Trayce Thomspon will represent Great Britain, Freddie Freeman will play for Team Canada, and recently acquired Miguel Rojas will play for Team Valenzuela.
The World Baseball Classic is stacked with high-profile players from the MLB but also around the world. It will be interesting to see how Urias performs before heading into the 2023 season and also see if he can stop Team USA from becoming back-to-back WBC Champs.
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