Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Miami Marlins
news

Marlins News

Neidert makes pitch to reach Majors soon

Marlins' fourth-ranked prospect throws two scoreless innings vs. Braves
@JoeFrisaro
March 6, 2019

JUPITER, Fla. -- Moving quickly through the Minor League ranks is nothing new for Marlins prospect Nick Neidert. Two years ago, when he was in the Mariners' system, the right-hander reached Double-A at age 20. Now with the Marlins, Neidert is pushing to make his Major League debut at age

JUPITER, Fla. -- Moving quickly through the Minor League ranks is nothing new for Marlins prospect Nick Neidert.

Two years ago, when he was in the Mariners' system, the right-hander reached Double-A at age 20. Now with the Marlins, Neidert is pushing to make his Major League debut at age 22.

His Spring Training objective?

"To show that I can compete and pitch at this level," Neidert said. "The ultimate goal is to pitch in Miami. But just to go out there, pound the strike zone, get guys out and show I can be effective."

Neidert had another opportunity to showcase himself on Wednesday, throwing two scoreless innings for the Marlins in their 4-0 loss to the Braves at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

The Marlins had a split squad on Wednesday, with half the club facing the Braves and the other half playing the Astros at West Palm Beach, where Houston won 11-5.

Neidert, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 4 prospect, overcame command issues in the first inning. He fell behind the Braves' leadoff hitter, Cristian Pache, 3-0, before surrendering a full-count double. Neidert then loaded the bases before striking out Pedro Florimon looking at a 91-mph fastball.

A non-roster invitee who is not yet on the Marlins' 40-man roster, Neidert is expected to open the season at Triple-A New Orleans. But he’s knocking on the door to be in the big leagues.

Not overpowering, Neidert’s strength is his pinpoint command and four-pitch mix. He throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.

"It gives him weapons against different guys," manager Don Mattingly said. "Some guy may hit the breaking ball, but he doesn't hit the change. Or he doesn't hit the slider, but he hits the curveball. Or he doesn't hit [the] elevated fastball. So Nick's a guy who basically can hit all four quadrants, and he's got different weapons for different guys."

After his 27-pitch first inning, Neidert made quick work of the Braves in a one-two-three second inning. He finished the day having thrown 39 pitches, with 20 strikes. He allowed one hit and two walks, with one strikeout.

"In the first inning, he struggled a little bit with his command," said Miami bench coach Tim Wallach, who managed against the Braves because Mattingly was with the squad playing Houston. "In the second inning, I thought he was a lot better. I like him. When he commands it, he gets good sink, gets the ball on the ground."

The Marlins acquired Neidert from the Mariners after the 2017 season in the Dee Gordon trade, and he projects as a No. 3-type starter.

Since being drafted by Seattle in the second round in 2015, Neidert has advanced rapidly, so it isn't far-fetched that he could reach the big leagues fast.

"For some reason, basically at each level, I connected more with some of the older guys," Neidert said.

That was the case in 2016 at Class A Clinton, and in '17 at Arkansas, when he reached Double-A at 20.

"I was picking everybody’s brain, the guys with the most baseball experience," Neidert said. "Just getting to know what they do best and what works for them, and implementing it to what I do now.

"I think that helps me so much, just learning from them. I don't feel like I'm 22. I feel I'm much closer to their age. Just the wisdom they had for me, I tried to let that sink in."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.