When looking down at the farm on Tuesday night, you won’t find a performance better than Miami Marlins No. 15 prospect Kyle Nicolas. After being called-up to Double-A Pensacola from High-A Beloit, the 22-year old right-hander certainly acclimated himself to Double-A batters very quickly.
Miami Marlins No. 15 Prospect Kyle Nicolas impressive in Double-A debut.
The Marlins Competitive Balance B pick in the 2020 MLB Draft (61st overall), Nicolas took the mound in Pensacola Tuesday night for his first outing with the Blue Wahoos. Facing the Mississippi Braves, the right-hander was unhittable firing five no-hit, scoreless innings in which he recorded eight strikeouts and four walks.
Nicolas previously spent up to this point in High-A playing with the Beloit Snappers where he made 13 appearances, 12 of which were starts. Across those 59.2 innings pitched, Nicolas posted a 3-2 record with a 5.28 ERA to combine with 24 walks and 86 strikeouts.
The 22-year old right-hander before being drafted by Miami previously spent three seasons at Ball State where he split time between the rotation and the bullpen. Across those three seasons, Nicolas posted a combined 5.12 ERA, but was impressive across his four starts during the shortened 2020 season posting a 2.74 ERA with seven walks and 37 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched.
Nicolas has showcased improved command and big-time strikeout potential so far during his first professional season, partly due to his fastball which grades out as a 70 on MLB’s 20/80 scale. Along with his plus-fastball, Nicolas uses an above-average slider to get batters out, while also displaying a solid curveball and an improving changeup.
After impressing at the Marlins instructional league a year ago, it certainly appears that Nicolas is off to a fast start this season as well. The 6’4 right-hander will most-likely spend the remainder of the 2021 minor league season in Double-A, but could very well see Triple-A if he continues to pitch like he did on Tuesday night while most-likely factoring into the Marlins big league plans at some point in either 2022 or 2023.