The New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Nick Nelson in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, FL. He was given a slot bonus of $455,400. He was previously selected in the 2014 draft in the 31st round by the San Francisco Giants.
The Yankees assigned Nelson to the Rookie-level Pulaski Yankees of the Appalachian League. In 10 games, all of which were starts, Nelson went 0-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed 14 hits and struggled with his control walking 22 batters to produce a 1.688 WHIP. He also struck out 19 batters.
For 2017, the Yankees bumped up Nelson to the low-Class A Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League. He struggled to a 3-12 record with a 4.56 ERA in 22 starts. Control was an issue once again walking 50 batters and allowing 103 hits in 100 and two-thirds innings producing a WHIP of. 1.52 Nelson would often struggle to get deep in games putting lots of runners on the basepaths and surrendering runs early.
The 2018 season was a big one for Nelson. The right-hander rose through the farm system, seeing time at three different levels. He started the season with the Charleston RiverDogs and went 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in five starts and striking out 35 batters over 24 2/3 innings.
On July 23, he was promoted to High-A Tampa where he went 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 18 games, 17 starts for the Tarpons. He struck out 99 batters in 88 1/3 innings of work. Finally, on August 25, he was promoted to Double-A, getting his first taste of the minors upper levels with the Trenton Thunder. With Trenton he pitched to a 5.19 ERA in three games, allowing five earned runs in 8 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts.
Nelson throws fastball that is regularly in the mid-90s, sitting 96-97 miles per hour on the radar gun. He backs it up with a curveball that he throws in the 80-81 miles per hour range and a change up that is at 89-90 miles per hour.
He is currently working to develop a slider, a developmental focus for him since the beginning of the 2018 season. His changeup came together in 2018, finding it mid-season and using it effectively in games.
Nelson could start the year with either Double-A Trenton or High-A Tampa. It all depends on what happens at the upper levels of the system in terms of how the rotations work out. If he gets pushed down to Tampa to start the year, it would not be for long as he has the talent to face Double-A hitters.