Sunday, May 08, 2005

Ricky Nolasco Report

Ricky Nolasco, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Drafted 108th Overall (4th Rd), 2001 Draft, HS, Rialto, CA
Bats R/Throws R
22 YO, 6'1", 205 lbs

Continuing with the fast start crew, Nolasco is blowing away Southern League batters in his second go-around in the circuit. He did pretty well last year at West Tennessee, so I was a little surprised when I saw he was back in AA. He works mostly with two pitches, a curve and a sinking fastball that operates mostly in the low 90's.

2004 West Tenn: 3.70 ERA, 115 K, 37 BB, 104 H, 13 HR, 107 IP
2004 Iowa: 9.30 ERA, 28 K, 37 BB, 68 H, 7 HR, 40 IP
pre-2005 mL Career: 3.62 ERA, 394 K, 131 BB, 384 H, 28 HR, 405 IP

Nolasco currently has an ERA just over 1 with more than a strikeout per inning and a good walk rate. His BABIP is a lot low than it was last season, so the ERA is a little padded by good luck, but it's still quite obvious that he's overqualified for the level. He should be in the PCL. Given his age, I like his chances for a real career. I'm not entirely sure whether he'll spend most of that career in the middle of somebody's rotation or in the bullpen, but I think he'll be good (eventually) whichever it may be. I think he may take a couple of years of bouncing back and forth between Iowa and Wrigley before he get there to stay, and I don't think he's a star waiting to happen. Nevertheless, he's a good addition to the stable of prospects that the Cubs have. The way they're going through pitchers under Dusty Baker, the Cubs may need him sooner rather than later.

ETA: Early/Mid 2006
3 1/2 Stars

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