Prospect of the Day: Juan Nicasio, RHP, Colorado Rockies
With Jorge De La Rosa on the disabled list for Tommy John surgery, the Rockies are turning to prospect Juan Nicasio, who will start Saturday's game against the Cardinals. What can we expect?
Colorado signed Nicasio as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2006. He spent '07 and '08 in short-season ball, with decent results, then emerged as a fine prospect with a 2.41 ERA and a 115/23 K/BB in 112 innings for Asheville in the Sally League in 2009. He followed up with a 3.91 ERA in 177 innings for Modesto in the California League last year, with a sharp 171/31 K/BB. Pitching for Double-A Tulsa this spring, Nicasio was 5-1, 2.22 with a 63/10 K/BB in 57 innings and 48 hits allowed before his promotion to the majors.
Nicasio's velocity has been steadily improving, moving from the 88-92 range earlier in his career, to 90-95 last year, to more consistent mid-90s readings this year including some reports of him touching 100 for Tulsa. He mixes in a very good curveball, as well a decent slider and changeup, giving him a complete arsenal. He throws strikes, has a good feel for pitching, and has had no trouble adapting to Double-A.
There are no flaws in Nicasio's statistics and his scouting reports are positive. The only real negative here is his lack of experience in the high minors, but we'll just have to see how he adapts. He has the stuff and command to be at least a number three starter, and perhaps more.