Miami Marlins Prospects: No. 4 Justin Nicolino

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Nicolino is another pitching prospect the Miami Marlins received in the big trade with the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2012. The young left-handed pitcher has a lot of potential and could definitely become an important piece in the Marlins’ rotation for some time.

Nicolino was drafted out of high school by the Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He immediately started out in Single-A with the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League in 2011. Pitching mostly for Vancouver and a little with the Lansing Lugnuts, Nicolino’s first season in the minor saw him put up a 1.33 ERA and 6-2 record in 15 games. There was something immediately special about him.

Nicolino pitched in Lansing for all of the 2012 season and went 10-4 with a 2.46 ERA. He was acquired by the Marlins after that season and quickly moved up the ranks, finishing 2013 in Double-A Jacksonville. Between Jacksonville and Jupiter, Nicolino was 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA. He struggled a bit through nine starts with the Suns, posting a 4.96 ERA and allowing 12.5 H/9.

Nerves seemed to be the problem in Jacksonville toward the end of 2013, but there is hope for him in the future as he will probably start the year off with the Suns. Nicolino has been praised for his intelligence on the mound and that he pitches with a purpose. He is just another good pitcher in the Marlins’ system, and some would say you could never have enough good pitching. Miami has a lot of potential and Nicolino is one of the better pitchers they have down on the farm.

Ryan Gaydos is a MLB columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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