When Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias was the only 20-game winner in MLB in 2021, he started to get a little recognition. Julio finished seventh in the Cy Young balloting that year, hit first time receiving any Cy Young votes. His total of 185.2 innings pitched wasn’t just a career high, it was 106 innings more than his previous high, so there was probably a little skepticism that he might be a one-year wonder.
That skepticism was put to bed in 2022, when he went 17-7 with a league-leading 2.16 ERA and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. Having firmly established himself as a top-tier starter, Julio was also recognized in MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” series.
Urias comes in at number 10 on MLB Network’s list, his first time ever cracking this particular list. Interestingly, there are five pitchers who finished behind Urias in last year’s Cy Young results but are ahead of him on this list: Corbin Burnes (1), Carlos Rodon (3), Max Scherzer (4), Zack Wheeler (8), and Jacob deGrom (9). Those five pitchers finished seventh, sixth, N/A, N/A, and N/A in the National League Cy Young voting last year.
“Best right now” is tricky, because they have to use the last couple years a their sample size. Burnes, Wheeler, and Scherzer finished 1-2-3 in the 2021 Cy Young voting, and deGrom finished ninth. deGrom is the only pitcher on the list to not finish in the top five in Cy Young voting in the last two years.
In a way, this list is par for the course for Urias — he got some recognition, but probably not quite as much as he deserves. But that’s the nature of a list like this. Zac Gallen and Dylan Cease and a few others could make a case that they belong on the list, too; at least Julio is on it.
In Los Angeles, we’ll gladly take our number 10, even if no one else appreciates him the way we do.
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