Former Charlottesville players Vinnie Pasquantino and Kyle Nicolas, besides doing very, very well in pro ball, have also been named players of the week in their respective leagues.
Pasquantino, the 13th best hitter in the 2017 VBL season, was picked in the 11th round of the 2019 draft by the Kansas City Royals out of Old Dominion. Assigned to Burlington in 2019, he was very, very good, slashing .294/.371/.592 in 211 at-bats, with 17 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs, and an outstanding 27/40 BB/K ratio.
In 2021, though, he’s been on another level. Sent to Quad Cities (High A) to start the season, he hit .291/.384/.565 in 237 at-bats, with 20 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 42 RBIs, and a silly 33/38 BB/K ratio. Called up to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on June 6, he’s been, incredibly, even better. In 142 at-bats at the higher level, Pasquantino is hitting .352/.430/.606, with 15 doubles, seven home runs, 28 RBIs, and a 18/21 BB/K ratio. Putting it all together, for the season he’s hitting .314/.401/.580 in 379 at-bats, with 35 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 70 RBIs, and an almost-even 51/59 BB/K ratio, which is almost unheard of for a power hitter (stats through Wednesday).
So first of all, he was named the Double-A Central player of the week for August 23-29, but perhaps even more importantly, he made Baseball America’s “Hot Sheet” for minor leaguers- at number three! The article praises his power and strike zone judgement:
There’s something to pay attention to here. Pasquantino has managed to combine power (58 extra-base hits so far this year) with the ability to make tons of contact. Not only does he lead the minors in extra-base hits, he’s the only player with 50 or more extra-base hits who has less than 60 strikeouts (58).(Baseball America)
Pasquantino is well on his way to the major leagues, and may become the first Charlottesville player to make the majors (if he can beat Kyle Nicolas there, of course).
Nicolas played for Charlottesville the year after Pasquantino, and was the league’s highest draft pick in 2020 when he was picked in the second round by Miami. He made his pro debut this spring for Beloit in High-A, and, honestly, it was a little rocky for him. In 13 games (12 starts), he went 3-2, 5.28, with 57 hits, 24 walks, and 86 K’s in 59 2/3 innings pitched.
Not deterred, the Marlins moved him up to Double-A Pensacola on July 21, and Nicolas took off: at the higher, more difficult level, he’s 3-1, 1.76, with 13 hits, 17 walks, and 39 K’s in 30 2/3 innings pitched (over six starts). I mean, 13 hits in six starts?!? He’s also thrown 16 2/3 straight shutout innings while striking out 20 over that span.
Well, Nicolas was named the pitcher of the week in Double-A South, and appears to be well on his way to the major leagues, too.
Stay tuned, Brilliant Reader, for more details about Valley League alums doing well in pro ball!
Great signifcant progress stories. Thanks, John.