MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The youngest player in the All-Star Futures game made one of the biggest impressions.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who is just 17, who had a strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth inning for the World team in its 3-2 loss Sunday. He threw 11 of 14 pitches for strikes.
"He was composed. Whoom! Whoom! Whoom! My goodness gracious," said U.S. team manager Tom Kelly, the former skipper of the Minnesota Twins.
Urias, who turns 18 on Aug. 12, is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 52 1-3 innings for the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League. Asked whether he was nervous, the native of Mexico simply shook his head.
"It's what God gave me and that's what I do, and there's no reason to be nervous," he said through an interpreter.
FANCY PANTS: Tom Kelly found his jersey ready when he arrived at Target Field to manage the U.S. team.
Kelly, who managed the Twins to a pair of World Series titles during his time in the Minnesota dugout from 1986-01, borrowed a pair from current Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
"They're a little loose," he joked, a reference to his successor. "No, they're not. They fit fine."
While borrowing Gardenhire's office for the day, Kelly helped himself to a cigar from Gardenhire's humidor.
HOOSIER FAVORITES? The U.S. team featured four natives of Indiana: catchers Justin O'Conner (Tampa Bay Rays, high Class A) and Kevin Plawecki (New York Mets, Triple-A), second baseman Micah Johnson (Chicago White Sox, Triple-A) and right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer (Minnesota Twins, Triple-A). That tied for the largest representation from any state with California, one more than both Florida and Texas.
"You would've thought if this was a basketball event, that might make a little more sense," Meyer said. "But being here with the baseball, it speaks for Indiana baseball, too. It's getting a lot better, so it's a good thing."