You know spring training is starting to grow close when the Dodgers begin their annual community caravan – now apparently dubbed "Love LA Tour" – and the non-roster invitations go out.
The Dodgers gave out 16 invitations to players in the system but not on their 40-man roster on Monday, none exactly shocking, but still several of the intrigue variety.
A pair of starting pitchers who could get a call-up later in the season headline the invitees, left-hander Julio Urias and right-hander Jose De Leon.
Urias, now all of 19, is the Dodgers' top prospect and is considered one of the best prospects in baseball. Signed out of Mexico at age 16, he will be starting his fourth year in the Dodgers system. He has yet, however, to pitch as many as 90 innings in any one season. Overall in his minor-league career he is 7-7 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He was also invited to camp last year, appearing in two games.
De Leon is 23 and was originally drafted on the 24th round, but in the last two years has turned himself into a serious prospect. In his three seasons in the minors, he has gone 16-12 with a 3.61 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and averaged 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Other pitchers invited to camp include right-handers Chris Anderson, Lisalverto Bonilla, Brooks Brown and Matt West. Anderson, 23, was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2013.