Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who will make his Major League debut on Friday against the Mets at Citi Field, is an elite pitching prospect. He is also not yet 20 years old.Urias, born on Aug. 12, 1996, will toe a Major League rubber at just 19 years, 289 days old.
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who will make his Major League debut on Friday against the Mets at Citi Field, is an elite pitching prospect. He is also not yet 20 years old.
Urias, born on Aug. 12, 1996, will toe a Major League rubber at just 19 years, 289 days old. He will be the 59th starting pitcher since 1913 to make his big league debut before his 20th birthday.
Here are some of the notable names Urias will be joining.
Felix Hernandez, Mariners: Aug. 4, 2005 (19 years, 118 days old)
The debut: Not yet the King, Felix started his career with a loss to the Tigers -- although he held them to three hits and two runs (one earned) in five innings. His first MLB strikeout victim? Ivan Rodriguez.
The aftermath: Two ERA titles, six straight 200-strikeout seasons, six All-Star games, the American League Cy Young Award in 2010 -- Hernandez has more than made up for that first loss.
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Dwight Gooden, Mets: April 7, 1984 (19 years, 143 days)
The debut: Dr. K flashed his potential immediately, beating the Astros with five innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts in his first game.
The aftermath: Gooden went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award in '84, made the All-Star Game and finished second in NL Cy Young Award voting. He won the NL Cy Young Award a year later with one of the most dominant seasons in recent history, then helped lead the Mets to the '86 World Series championship, before off-the-field issues partially derailed his promising career.
Bert Blyleven, Twins: June 5, 1970 (19 years, 60 days)
The debut: Blyleven was excellent is his first Major League game, spinning seven innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts for the win.
The aftermath: Blyleven's win in his debut was the first of 287 Major League victories. His 19-year-old season was the first of 22 in the big leagues. Blyleven was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mike Morgan, A's: June 11, 1978 (18 years, 246 days)
The debut: Debuting as an 18-year-old, Morgan put together one of the odder box scores of the group. He managed to throw a complete game and only allow three runs despite giving up 10 hits, issuing five walks and not striking out a single batter. He lost, 3-0.
The aftermath: Morgan went on to pitch a long and moderately successful career, retiring in 2002 after 22 seasons and 141 wins. He made an All-Star team in 1991.
David Clyde, Rangers: June 27, 1973 (18 years, 66 days)
The debut: Clyde's debut itself, a win, was generally strong -- five innings, one hit, two runs and eight strikeouts (but seven walks). It was what happened afterward, though, that is most noteworthy.
The aftermath: Clyde, a highly promising No. 1 Draft pick fresh out of high school, was supposed to be sent down to the Minors shortly after his debut, but the team ended up keeping him in the Majors. He struggled and eventually developed arm problems, and only pitched in parts of five seasons before a failed comeback attempt pushed him into early retirement. Clyde is often pointed to as a cautionary tale for rushing the development of young pitchers.
Vida Blue, A's: July 20, 1969 (19 years, 357 days)
The debut: Blue's debut wasn't as successful as his career would be -- he allowed five runs in a 5 1/3-inning loss to the Angels in the first game of a doubleheader.
The aftermath: Blue won the AL Cy Young Award and the AL MVP Award in 1971, made six All-Star Games and was the first pitcher to start the Midsummer Classic for both the AL and NL. He won 209 games in 17 Major League seasons.
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Denny McLain, Tigers: Sept. 21, 1963 (19 years, 176 days)
The debut: McLain was masterful despite his young age, tossing a complete-game win with eight strikeouts against the White Sox.
The aftermath: McLain was a World Series champion in 1968, winning 31 games en route to the AL Cy Young Award and the AL MVP Award. He made three All-Star teams in his 10-year career.
Dave McNally, Orioles: Sept. 26, 1962 (19 years, 330 days)
The debut: McNally became one of three teenagers -- along with Lew Krausse Jr. (who was only 18) in 1961 and George Dumont in 1915 -- to pitch a shutout in his Major League debut.
The aftermath: McNally helped the O's to World Series titles in 1966 and '70, won 184 games and made three All-Star teams in 14 seasons and led the AL in wins in '70.
Early Wynn, Senators: Sept. 13, 1939 (19 years, 250 days)
The debut: Wynn threw a complete game in his first career start, but lost to the White Sox, allowing four runs, walking five and striking out none.
The aftermath: Wynn's first game was not a sign of things to come. He turned out to be a 300-game winner in the Major Leagues, and after a 23-year career and seven All-Star nods, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Babe Ruth, Red Sox: July 11, 1914 (19 years, 155 days)
The debut: The first starting pitcher to debut as a teenager going back to 1913 just happens to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. The Babe picked up the win in his first big league game after allowing three runs in seven innings. Ruth went 0-for-2 with a strikeout at the plate.
The aftermath: Ruth converted to the outfield, was sold to the Yankees in 1920 and the rest is history.
Other fun facts
• The youngest starting pitcher to debut was Jim Derrington, who was only 16 when he took the mound for the White Sox on Sept. 30, 1956. Derrington was hit hard, allowing six runs on nine hits, including two home runs, in a six-inning loss. He lasted just one more year in the big leagues.
• Wilson Alvarez is the only starting pitcher to debut before his 20th birthday who failed to record a single out. Pitching for the Rangers on July 24, 1989, Alvarez allowed a single, back-to-back home runs and back-to-back walks to the first five batters he faced before being relieved.
• Krausse Jr., one of the three pre-20-year-old starters to throw a shutout in his MLB debut, wasn't even the first teenager to pitch in the Majors in his own family. His father, Lew Sr., was 19 when he debuted in relief for the A's in 1931.
Friday's Dodgers-Mets matchup, an MLB Network Showcase game, can be seen free on MLB.TV and will feature MLB Plus -- MLB.com's data-driven online broadcast that uses Statcast™ and other analytical and broadcast elements to deliver an in-depth discussion about both the action on the field and the big picture.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.