Julio Urias and the milestones of teenage pitchers
By Cary Osborne
Julio Urias is 19 years and 289 days old today — the day he joins the list of 35 Dodgers who have made their Major League debuts as teenagers.
Ralph Branca, Gil Hodges, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Bill Buckner, Fernando Valenzuela and Adrian Beltre are all on that list.
On the occasion of Urias’ debut, here are some other teenage tidbits to have fun with …
- Drysdale was 20 days younger when he debuted on April 17, 1956. He tossed one relief inning at Ebbets Field against the Philadelphia Phillies and walked one and retired the other three batters he faced.
- Koufax was 19 years, 176 days old on June 24, 1955 when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Milwaukee. He went two innings and allowed a hit and a walk (to Hank Aaron) and struck out a pair.
- Valenzuela was 19 years, 319 days old when he pitched two relief innings on September 15, 1980 in Atlanta. He went two innings, allowed a hit and two unearned runs and struck out one.
- The Major League record for strikeouts by a teenager in his first career game is held by Philadelphia’s Curt Simmons. He mowed down nine batters on September 28, 1947. He was 18 years, 132 days old.
- The Dodger record for strikeouts by a teenager in his first career game is only three, shared by Branca (June 12, 1944 at 18 years, 158 days), Rex Barney (August 18, 1943 at 18 years, 242 days) and Bill Hall (July 4, 1913 at 19 years, 132 days). Barney was the only pitcher who started his game.
- Reliever Dick Calmus, at 19 years, 105 days, holds the L.A. record of two, which was set on April 22, 1963.
- A teenager has struck out 10 or more batters in a game 46 times. Cleveland’s Bob Feller was 19 years, 333 days old when he struck out a Major League teenager record 18 on October 2, 1938. Branca was 19 years, 246 days when he struck out 10 on September 9, 1945.
- Urias is the youngest Dodger to make his debut since Adrian Beltre was 19 years, 78 days versus the Angels on June 24, 1998.
- He is the only Dodger to make his debut as a starting pitcher since Barney.
- Urias is the youngest Major Leaguer to make his debut since Texas’ Jurickson Profar was 19 years, 195 days on September 2, 2012.
- He is the youngest Major League starting pitcher to make his debut since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was 19 years, 118 days on August 4, 2005.
- Urias is the youngest National Leaguer to make his debut since Washington’s Bryce Harper was 19 years, 195 days in his debut at Dodger Stadium on April 28, 2012.
- Urias is the youngest NL pitcher to make his debut as a starter since the Mets’ Dwight Gooden was 19 years, 143 days on April 7, 1984.
- When Urias throws his first pitch, he will be the 221st teenager since 1913 to throw a pitch in a big league game.
- He is the second Mexican-born teenager to make his debut, joining, of course, Valenzuela.
Baseball-Reference.com is the source for these notes, with the search period going back in most cases to 1913.