Originally written on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 10/29/14

Vidal Nuno was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from Baker University. He has spent five years in the minors until making his first start for the New York Yankees May 13 against the team that originally drafted him. Nuno pitched five scoreless innings and struck out three in the 7-0 shutout. In two appearances so far for the Yankees, he has not given up a run in eight innings. Nuno's style is very reminiscent of Ricky Romero's. There's a lot of moving parts, and Romero may throw a little harder, but Nuno is very effective with a fastball that tops out at about 88 mph (Courtesy of FanGraphs). Sooner or later major league hitters will catch up to him, but his control is what sets him apart. In his five years in the minors, he's walked 69 in 385 innings. He rarely gets in to trouble as evidenced by a career WHIP of 1.09 and an opponent's batting average of .243. Nuno started 2013 in spring training with the Yankees and put together very impressive numbers that obviously caught the eye of some important people. In seven games (two starts), he gave up one run in ten innings for a 0.61 ERA, while striking out 13. Again his WHIP was a stunning 0.95. He didn't make the team out of spring training but continued to showcase his abilities at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; 2-0, 1.54 ERA, 23.1 innings, 13 hits, four earned runs, 26 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.64. Yes the journey through the minors probably took a little longer than expected, but that is normal in a story like this. According to a press release on the NAIA website, Nuno is in select company when it comes to players that have come from his NAIA school; "Nuno became only the second Baker Wildcat to make it to the majors, and the first since Zip Zabel, a right-handed pitcher who won 12 games for the Chicago Cubs from 1913 to 1915." The realization that the NAIA is full of talent is evident by the increasing amount of players drafted each year; 45 in 2011 and 44 in 2012. And now that the Independent Leagues is in the forefront as a proving ground for many players such as Scott Kazmir, playing in each is more of a benefit now than it's ever been. Nuno's journey through the minors hit a roadblock in 2010. He was released by the Indians after the season, and had to prove his worth in the Independent Frontier League. Six games with the Washington Wild Things was good enough for the Yankees as they signed him shortly thereafter. Since then, all Nuno has done is jumped from Singe A to Triple A in two years and get people out on a consistent basis. Everyone's journey is different and everyone has a different story to tell. In this instance its perseverance and dedication. There is no telling what lies ahead for Nuno, and perhaps it's for the best. Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

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