When Nick Frasso was coming out of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in California, many questions surrounded him. Frasso had excelled as a multi-sport athlete in basketball and baseball. However, major league scouts determined that he was too raw to justify picking in the 2017 draft. After enrolling at Loyola Marymount in the fall, the right-hander started putting doubters to rest quickly.
In his freshman campaign, Frasso made an impact immediately, piling up 74 strikeouts to 17 walks over 60 innings per lmulions.com. Used in a prominent late-inning role, he compiled a 0.87 ERA with just under two strikeouts per inning out of the bullpen. Even when he did miss spots, Frasso did an exceptional job of avoiding hard contact. He did not allow a single home run the last two months of the season.
Frasso continued his success in the closer role in 2019, saving 10 games, tops in the WCC. His strikeout-to-walk ratio (73/17, 4.29) was almost identical to his freshman campaign, and he again excelled at keeping the ball in the park, allowing only one home run and none for the season’s final three months.
Both an elbow injury and the COVID-19 pandemic cut Frasso’s junior season short. In two starts, however, he struck out 11 in 8 ⅔ innings, walking three.
Nick Frasso features a powerful mid-90s fastball, topping out at 98, with great life. MLB.com rates the pitch as a 60 on the 20-80 scale. It has played especially well up in the strike zone. He also mixes in a sweeping curveball that sits in the mid-70s and tunnels well with his four-seamer. Its slower velocity allows Frasso to keep hitters on their toes, often unprepared for the mid-90s heater that complements it so well.
Frasso has also shown flashes of a potentially great changeup, sitting in the low 80s with great movement. This drop of almost 15 mph between fastball and off-speed allows him to keep any hitter off-balance, even when missing his location.
Physically, Frasso is an imposing figure at 6-5, 190 lbs, which allows him to generate natural power on the mound. Despite not showing pinpoint command in college, he has shown the ability to consistently pound the strike zone.
Despite Frasso’s flashes of great potential, many questions linger about his long-term ability. Frasso’s thin frame at 6-5, 190 could scare some cautious teams away, those trying to avoid injuries at all costs.
He also uses a bit of a herky-jerky delivery, which could be tough to repeat at higher levels of the professional system. As previously mentioned, Frasso fills up the strike zone at a higher rate but will have to refine his command to contribute at higher levels.
Additionally, an elbow injury suffered this spring clouded his draft prospects, although it was reported that he was throwing again before the season was cancelled.
MLB Player Comp
According to PitcherList, Nick Frasso compares best to Pittsburgh Pirates righthander Jameson Taillon. Both Frasso and Taillon pitch out of a long-armed, 3/4 delivery, featuring a mid-90s fastball with great life. As well, both utilize a slow, sweeping breaking ball to effectively miss bats, especially down below the zone.
Taillon stands at 6-6, an inch taller than the young right-hander, and both have shown signs of a great changeup with further development. Taillon has been plagued by elbow injuries that have limited his effectiveness, and Frasso will have to avoid a similar path in order to contribute at the big-league level.
Sources: Baseball-Reference, PitcherList, lmulions.com, MLB.com, Prospect Pipeline
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