2019 Prospect Discussion, 2 of … ; Nicoly Pina

This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss.  However, today’s subject is Nicoly Pina.  I will continue on an irregular schedule for as long as I stay interested.  This will be mostly about low-level prospects, but could include anyone I saw last season.  If you have someone in particular you want to hear about, put the name in the comments section.  If I’ve seen enough to warrant a post, I’ll strongly consider it.

Nicoly Pina was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent on May 3, 2018 out of the Domincan Republic.

Pina was signed as an 18-year-old.  The 6’3, 203 lb., right-handed pitcher began his career as a reliever in his first six appearances in the 2018 Dominican Summer League.  He was somewhat effective.  In 11.0 innings, he went 0-1 with a save and posted a 4.09 ERA, .205 batting average against, 1.18 WHIP, allowing 8 hits, walking 5 and striking out 15 batters. Three of his 5 earned runs allowed came in one appearance and 4 of his 5 walks came in another.

Pina finished the 2018 season as a starter and opened 11 games.  In 43 innings, he went 1-2 and posted a 3.98 ERA, .224 batting average against, 1.47 WHIP, allowing 33 hits, walking 30 and striking out 38 batters.  I imagine that the rise in hits and walks per game and the drop in his strike outs per game as a starter had a lot to do with his future role as a pitcher.

In 2019 with the GCL Phillies West, Pina made 15 appearances, 10 as a finisher.  He posted a 2-1 record, 3.57 ERA, and 1.302 WHIP.  He had a team high 3 saves.  In 17.2 innings he walked 14 and struck out 28 batters for a 7.1 BB/9 and a 14.3 K/9.  His fastball sits comfortably  at 92-95 mph, but he can crank it up to 96 and 97 mph with ease.

The 19-year-old RHP has a seriously big arm.  Pina arrived at the Carpenter Complex to little fan fare for 2019 extended spring training.  He was under the radar, just another name on the back of a jersey … until his first appearance.  The Complex pretty much came to a halt.  Everyone stopped what they were doing to come over to Ashburn Field to watch Pina pitch.  Many pitchers clamored to learn the 97-mph velocity of his first pitch.

Pina faced 10 batters in his first outing in 2.1 innings.  Of the 7 outs he recorded, he struck out 5 batters.  That’s the stuff that legends can be built upon.

But, with a youthful, big arm comes youthful control.  Aside from his high number of walks, Pina has hit the backstop on Roberts Field on the fly on a couple of occasions.

With his control as suspect as it is, Lakewood would likely be out of the question.  Another season at the Complex might be in order, but a season in Williamsport with pitching coach Hector Berrios might be just what is needed.

  • Bats right, Throws right
  • 6’3, 203 lb.
  • Born October 8, 1999 (age 20)
  • Int’l FA out of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic signed on 5/3/2018
  • 2018; DSL Phillies Red
  • 2019; GCL Phillies West
Nicoly Pina
Nicoly Pina, photo by Mark Wylie

12 thoughts on “2019 Prospect Discussion, 2 of … ; Nicoly Pina

  1. You found someone else who can throw 95 for me! Thanks. This is someone to follow. IF he can gain control, he can maybe be something big.

  2. I am guessing Jim he doesn’t have good secondary pitches yet? A work in progress, With that fastball some control and a decent secondary pitch you will imo have a good relief pitcher,

  3. Hey Jim, I wasn’t even aware of this prospect, thank you for the update. In this world of analytics and probability; can you include % probability of making MLB, if so when, starter or reliever and maybe a comparable? As always, much appreciated for all your hard work!

    1. Yeah … no. Nobody can predict if a player makes the majors at this level. Baseball America’s “high risk” is the most appropriate predictor I’ve seen.

      Starter/reliever is a crap shoot. Most of these guys, if they make it, will make it as a reliever.

      And, I’m really not good at comps. Sorry.

  4. Jim, I am really happy that you are cherry-picking prospects to watch. For this more casual, but highly interested, observer, wading through names and stats is ineffective. Your eyes and ears are far more impactful for me. Many, many thanks for doing this.

  5. Jim, having to wade through names and stats without eye and ear test is highly ineffective for me. Your cherry-picking prospects who have a chance is invaluable. The name Nicoly Piña will now be bolded in my mind. Many thanks.

  6. Another great write-up, Jim. Thanks so much. Have you seen and if so seen anything of note with Johan Rojas?

  7. I for one would like very much to hear how Kendall Simmons is progressing, along with Rojas and although he hasn’t had more than a SSS, Bryson Stott as well. I think the high ceiling prospects would be of greater interest to most of us. But since they haven’t spent much if any time in Clearwater, we may have to wait until the spring.

    1. If you are waiting for me to write about “high ceiling prospects”, you’re missing the point. I’m writing to call attention to the depth we have. Kinda trying to dispel the “the organization has nobody in the minors” notion propagated by the local Phillies writers and radio guys who haven’t seen anyone below the major league level, and whose opinions are based on hearsay. I know for a fact, they’ve been told to be more negative in their articles because that’s what the fan base devours.

      1. Very well, Jim….I appreciate your labors. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing about some diamonds in the rough then👍

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