Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Oddy Nunez Throws a No-No
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a prospect at High-A Bradenton who quietly is putting together a strong season. Yesterday, he threw a no-hitter.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have seen some really strong starting pitching this year in their minor league system. This has mainly come from some of their better-known prospects. Pitchers like Mitch Keller, Nick Kingham, and Dario Agrazal have been consistent in minor league reports for their performances.
At the beginning of the year, the big pitching prospect of note at High-A Bradenton was righty Luis Escobar. However, he has struggled, pitching to a 4.82 ERA thus far this season. Instead, a new pitcher is coming onto the scene as the ace for the Marauders. This is lefty pitcher is Oddy Nunez. Nunez is a 21-year-old lefty from the Dominican Republic.
The most notable thing about Nunez in terms of being a prospect is his pure size. He stands at 6 feet and 8 inches and weighs in at 230 pounds. So there is obviously a ton of projection with him. Although he is big, he is more of a sinkerball pitcher. Over the last three seasons, he has produced a groundball percentage over 50 percent. That includes this year in which he is producing groundballs at a 50.5 percent. Meanwhile, he is only striking out about six hitters per nine innings pitched,
Nunez continued his strong season yesterday against the Minnesota Twins High-A affiliate, the Fort Myers Miracle. As mentioned earlier, Nunez pitched a no-hitter. However, it was only in eight innings, nonetheless still very exciting to see from the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect. The game was called an inning early due to rain. In those eight innings, he only allowed three baserunners – twi walks and a hit batter. The batter he hit was Pittsburgh native and top 100 prospect Alex Kirilloff (Plum High School).
Meanwhile, he struck out six batters. There was a scare of course as there always is in no-hitters it seems. The Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 third round pick Casey Hughston had to make a leaping catch at the wall to preserve the no-no. This was the first no-hitter in the Florida State League this season. Nine of his outs were produced via groundouts, as to be expected.
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After the performance, Nunez saw his earned run average on the season go down to 3.24. Over the last 19 innings pitched he has only allowed one earned run. Nunez has done nothing but be solid in the minor league so far in his 4-year career. The now 21-year-old has a career earned run average of 3.23. If he continues to pitch effectively, look for him to get bumped up to Double-A by the end of the season.