Justin Nicolino
Justin Nicolino
28-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Justin Nicolino in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox in May of 2019.
Signs overseas
PFree Agent  F
February 14, 2020
Nicolino signed with the Rakuten Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
ANALYSIS
Nicolino is headed overseas after spending the past two seasons at Triple-A. The 28-year-old southpaw owns a career 4.65 ERA And 1.46 WHIP across parts of three big-league seasons (201.1 innings).
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Pitching Stats
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2017
2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .397 60 5 2 23 4 0 2
Since 2017vs Right .295 169 21 18 43 8 2 6
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .397 60 5 2 23 4 0 2
2017vs Right .295 169 21 18 43 8 2 6
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.51 1.60 25.2 1 0 0 4.9 3.5 1.4
Since 2017Away 6.85 2.01 22.1 1 3 0 4.8 4.0 1.6
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 3.51 1.60 25.2 1 0 0 4.9 3.5 1.4
2017Away 6.85 2.01 22.1 1 3 0 4.8 4.0 1.6
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Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justin Nicolino
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Brothers at Monkeys
51 days ago
Erik Halterman breaks down Thursday's Chinatrust Brothers at Rakuten Monkeys matchup in the Chinese Professional Baseball League for Dream11 contests.
MLB Barometer: Intro to the Chinese Pro League
73 days ago
Erik Halterman gives the lowdown on the only game in town — the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Find out when to watch, who to watch and more.
The Z Files: NL Rotation Overview
July 5, 2018
Todd Zola concludes his tour of big-league depth charts with a look at rotations in the National League, including a more charitable view of the Rockies' recent demotion of Jon Gray.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
March 25, 2018
Jan Levine looks at some intriguing roster possibilities in the National League as Opening Day approaches, including Chicago's Albert Almora, who should still see plenty of at-bats off the bench.
Spring Training Job Battles: Nearing the Finish Line
March 24, 2018
Clay Link takes a spin around baseball and checks in to see how all of the relevant job battles are playing out in spring training.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
An inability to miss bats may not be a death sentence in the minors, but it's generally a recipe for disaster at the major-league level, especially when it is accompanied by a high walk rate. Last season, Nicolino fanned only 26 with 20 free passes in just 48 innings with the Fish. His fastball, cutter and sinker all sit around 90 mph, so not only are they not especially hard, there's no velocity differential to throw hitters off balance. Further, his change is only seven mph slower, again inadequate for maximum effectiveness. The result is a lot of hard contact, much of it for line-drive and groundball base hits. In 2017, like a lot of hurlers keeping the ball down, Nicolino was victimized by the uppercut stroke, serving up eight long balls. Miami may have no choice but to give Nicolino the ball to start games. Fortunately, you do: just say no.
Nicolino posted an uninspiring 4.99 ERA while going 3-6 in 13 starts for the Marlins in 2016, which prompted a demotion to Triple-A New Orleans in July. He pitched somewhat better upon returning to the Marlins in a bullpen role late in the season, allowing just one run in 8.2 September innings. With a fastball that rarely breaks 90 mph, Nicolino is an extreme contact pitcher who put up a paltry 4.2 K/9 in 2016. Unfortunately, hitters also hit .317 on balls in play against him, which along with a 1.46 WHIP helps explains the high ERA. Nicolino hasn't struck out hitters at a rate of even 6.5 K/9 since High-A, so it would be shocking if he posts average strikeout numbers going forward. Even if he returns to the rotation in 2017, Nicolino's complete lack of strikeouts and inability to keep runners off base makes him someone to largely avoid in fantasy.
Baseball Reference lists Nicolino’s nickname as "Big Bird," and if pictures were used in these player outlooks the nickname's origin would be obvious. Nicolino's 7.6-percent K rate in 74 IP is the lowest in that many innings since Aaron Cook's 4.9 percent in 94 IP in 2012. Unfortunately, this fits Nicolino’s upper minors work. In 285 IP at Double-A and Triple-A since 2014, he combined for just a 12-percent rate (4.5 K/9). At least Cook had an elite groundball rate to go with his strikeout ineptitude. Nicolino picked the worst era in which to have a strikeout deficiency. It’s hard to find a league type where you would want to bet on this profile.
Nicolino improved his stock in the Marlins' packed farm system, making 25 starts for Double-A Jacksonville in which he hurled 170.1 innings and registered a 2.85 and 1.07 WHIP. Nicolino collected a modest 4.3 K/9 and though his low strikeout totals are a cooler to his long-term fantasy outlook, the Marlins are surely pleased with the 23-year-old’s plus command as he totaled a 4.05 K/BB ratio during his fourth season in the minors. Of course, luck was also a contributor, as Nicolino benefitted from the lowest BABIP of his professional career (.276) during the 2014 campaign. Nicolino is likely to break camp with Triple-A New Orleans after proving his mastery of Double-A competition during a very successful season last year and he’s got an outside shot at making starts for the Marlins this summer as well.
Nicolino struggled to get going following a promotion to Double-A last season, posting a 4.96 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in nine starts (45.1 innings ) compared to the sparkling 2.23 ERA and 1.11 WHIP he posted over 18 starts (96.2 innings) at High-A Jupiter. The blame cannot entirely be placed on the pitcher as he suffered an unfortunate 97-point spike in his BABIP to .388 during his time at Double-A. Lacking elite strikeout ability, Nicolino leans on steady command (3.16 K/BB in 2013) and an advanced approach, frequently mixing location and velocity, to get by. Another trip through Double-A is the likely course of action for Nicolino in 2014 with the chance for a second-half promotion if he pitches well down on the farm.
A former second-round pick, Nicolino was included in the blockbuster deal between the Jays and Marlins in November. As a 21-year-old left-hander with control, Nicolino should progress somewhat quickly through the Marlins' system after carrying a 5.7 K/BB in the Midwest League last season. By most accounts, he has the ceiling to be a good big league starter, but the upside appears to be limited to that of a mid-rotation option as the strikeout rate could tumble a bit as he faces more advanced hitters at higher levels.
The 2nd round pick from 2010 had a very fine season at Low-A and Single-A in 2011, posting a 1.33 ERA across 15 appearances (12 starts) and striking out 73 batters in 61 innings with just 13 walks. His low-90s fastball is complemented with some nice secondary offerings so he should continue to dominate at the lower levels.
More Fantasy News
Lands with White Sox
PChicago White Sox  F
May 3, 2019
Nicolino signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports.
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Released by Twins
PFree Agent  F
May 1, 2019
Nicolino was released by the Twins on Wednesday, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports.
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Sent to minor-league camp
PMinnesota Twins  F
March 20, 2019
Nicolino was assigned to minor-league camp Wednesday, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
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Signs with Minnesota
PMinnesota Twins  F
February 6, 2019
Nicolino signed a minor-league contract with the Twins on Wednesday which includes an invitation to spring training.
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Outrighted to Triple-A
PCincinnati Reds  F
March 27, 2018
Nicolino was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday.
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