After drafting high school pitchers with their first two picks, the Dodgers drafted UCLA right-handed pitcher Nick Nastrini with the 131st overall pick in the fourth round of Monday’s MLB Draft. He was ranked as the 219th best prospect by Baseball America and 248th best prospect by MLB.
The 6-foot-3 215 point righty posted a 5-3 record and 4.73 ERA with 95 strikeouts over 66 2⁄3 career innings while with the Bruins. Nastrini made 12 appearances, including seven starts for the Bruins in 2021. He was 2-2 with a 6.89 ERA over the course of 31 1⁄3 innings while posting 48 strikeouts and 38 walks
Per Baseball America, he “entered the year considered one of the best pitching prospects on the West Coast, but his control deteriorated rapidly in what became a miserable season. He was demoted from the rotation to the bullpen in April and made only one appearance the final month of the season.”
He was named by FanGraphs as a statistical diamond in the rough.
Despite this, there’s a lot to like about Nastrini. Beside the fastball, his changeup flashes plus breaks in both directions, and while the slider and curveball lag behind, they’re still above-average offerings. Along with the four-pitch repertoire, he has a prototypical starter’s build (6-foot-3, 204 lbs.) and a clean, repeatable delivery. That last detail suggests his wavering command is more due to inconsistent release points, which teams could hope to adjust.
B2 | Nick Nastrini fans Zane Schmidt to wipe out a leadoff walk and get out of the inning unscathed. He has 4 Ks in two innings.— UCLA Baseball (@UCLABaseball) March 1, 2020
UCLA 2, TAMU 1
| @FloBaseball: https://t.co/VZjRzYO9s3#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/KBLyHZdNKh
Nick Nastrini will be a very interesting reclamation project for the Dodgers. He's shown projectable stuff, generally filled up the zone early in his career at UCLA but his command completely fell apart this year. Lots of puzzle pieces there for LA to put back together. SD native— Zack Silverman (@ZackMatt4) July 12, 2021