Hector Nelo, RHP
DOB: 11/5/86 (25 Years old)
Position: Relief Pitcher
Drafted: Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Nelo is best known for his ability to throw his fastball in the mid to high 90's.
After three years of consistently terrible statistics, ERAs above 5, BB/9 above 5, the Texas Rangers severed ties with the control-challenged Starter/Reliever. The Nationals picked him up and apparently worked some magic. 2011:
Nelo closed for Potomac in High-A. He pitched 32 games with a 2.40 ERA. He struck out 7.5 per nine innings, walking 3.5 per nine. The most impressive stat however was 7 hits per nine innings. He also gave up zero home runs.
Byron Kerr wrote about Nelo's 2011:
And now the 25-year old Nelo has really started to turn heads because he has been able to ramp up his fastball velocity to triple digits.2012:
"He has got a huge arm," Harris said. "Arguably, he has the best arm in our system. He is up to 100 mph. For him, it is fastball command (we need to work on). It is development of a slider."
The Nationals need to refine Nelo's location on his high-octane pitch and get his two other pitches to be steadily consistent.
"When he came to us he had a curveball," Harris said. "We are now trying to go cutter to slider with him. That is going to be a big part of his ability to have success at higher levels: development of that second pitch and command of that fastball."
Harris said Nelo's Potomac performance helped solidify the franchise belief that the former St. Thomas University hurler can make that next step.
"He really had his best year statistically and commanding his stuff," Harris said. "We feel like he is ready for the next challenge at this point. Those kind of arms are just not hanging out there (available) all the time."
Nelo was placed at AA in Harrisburg and appears to have taken another step forward. In 11 games, with 15.2 IP:
1.72 ERA, 12.1 K/9, 4 BB/9. He's pitched multiple innings in about a third of his relief appearances.
If he keeps pitching like this, we'll probably see him in AAA before long and if we're lucky he may be a September call-up. MLB Comparison:
His recent stats compare favorably (or not so favorably) to Henry Rodriguez. Only time will tell. But you would think we would see him sooner rather than later, as he is 25 years old already.