GLENDALE, Ariz. – A year ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers had limited starting pitching depth, yet suddenly, even in the post Zack Greinke era, they have a ton of it, and it partly is because the team’s top prospect, Julio Urias, is close to a breakthrough. The Dodgers refused to include Urias in any trades the last few years, even if it was to make the current major league team better. He will soon get a chance to show why the team has valued him so much. But before that happens, here is what makes him tick while he is away from the game (all answers through an translator):
Favorite musician: "It’s a group called Banda MS. For me, Banda MS is my kind of music. It’s what’s in for me and what I like."
Earliest memory: "I always remember the first baseball glove I ever received, and the first pair of spikes. My grandfather visited the United States and he came back and gave me the glove with the pair of spikes. I still have the glove at home."
Guilty pleasure: "I don’t have one. I’m just a normal person when it comes down to it. But when I am bored, I will sit down and watch a sitcom called, 'El Chavo del Ocho.' It’s a sitcom in Mexico that we are all familiar with."
Biggest obstacle: "The biggest thing for me to overcome was that growing up, I played baseball just for fun. Now it’s something you have to be committed to, prepare yourself to always be training. Through my teenage years to now, I can’t really be out partying or doing stuff that people of that age do because baseball is here. That is my No. 1 priority."
Embarrassing moment: "Luckily no, no embarrassing moment comes to mind. Nothing yet, at least as of today."
Hidden talent: "No, just baseball."
Nickname: "No I don’t have one. In my hometown of Culiacan they still call me Julio, and here it’s the same thing, Julio. Maybe if I get to the major leagues, one will come from the veteran guys. They’ll do what they want to do and I’m not going to stop them."
Coolest contact: "Being in this clubhouse and looking around it is really just everybody. You end up being impressed by everybody. Just watching them what they do and watching them go through their daily routine, for me it’s very impressionable. What a joy today it was to see Eric Gagne. One of the first baseball memories I ever had was of Eric Gagne and just to see him in person was a huge 'wow' factor."