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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Scouting Report Ricky Nolasco

Ricky Nolasco
28 years old
6th major league season
Bats R/Throws R

The 28 year-old RHP Ricky Nolasco was drafted in the fourth round by the Cubs in 2001, and was traded by the Cubs in 2005 along with Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto for Juan Pierre. Wow. Not a bad deal for the Marlins.

He's in his sixth major league season with the Marlins, and has started 25+ games the past three years.  For those who have followed the career of Nolasco, he can be maddeningly inconsistent. He would show signs of dominance, but then he would let up home run after home run. He lead the Marlins in wins last year with a 14-9 record, but finished with a mediocre 4.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He has great K/9 (8.4), BB/9 rates (1.88), and had a swing and a miss rate of 10.5% last year. He also throws a lot of 1st pitch strikes (65% of the time). So why was his ERA just league average? As noted earlier he was victimized by the long ball, allowing 24 Home Runs (1.37 HR/9, when league average is 0.96).  So the big question will be is that just randomness, or a product of poor skill and that it will continue to plague Nolasco?

Nolasco throws from a 3/4 arm slot and is a four-pitch pitcher, with a low 90s fastball (88-93 both a two and four seam) and a plus 85-mph slider with sharp and late break, as well as a 75-mph curveball and 85-mph split-finger fastball that he throws from the same release point as his fastball. His slider is one of the best in the majors, and he throws it 25% of the time. His curve-ball is also a plus pitch, but his fastball has gotten him in trouble the past two years.

He's started 17 games against the Mets, and is 5-6 with a 5.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Four of those starts came in 2010, and he was 2-0, with a 3.96 ERA and 1.16


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