Rising Star - Arquimedes Nieto

The 20-year-old right-hander, Arquimedes Nieto a 6-0, 175-pounder from Panama City, Panama, will make his 4th start today, his (9th appearance) for the River Bandits this season.

In his last game, Nieto was masterful in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader at Peoria, a 4-0 win over the Chiefs. He retired the first 15 batters he faced and took a perfect game into the sixth inning before allowing a leadoff single to David Macias and being removed. He tossed five scoreless innings in all and allowed just the one hit while striking out three and earning the win.

In his last three appearances, Nieto is 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA (9.1IP/ER), six strikeouts and just four hits allowed.

Signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free-agent in 2007, Nieto made his US debut with the Batavia Muckdogs last season and was named a New York-Penn League All-Star. The undersized right-hander emerged as a dominant starter for a championship squad, going 6-1 with a 2.95 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 18 walks over 58 innings (15G, 9GS). His numbers would have been even more spectacular had it not been for a rough final two outings (5.2IP, 12ER), as Nieto was 6-0 with a 1.20 ERA through his first 13 appearances.

Before the start of the 2009 regular season and despite being just 19-years-old never having pitched above the short-season level, Nieto participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of the Panamanian team. Though Panama was outscored 16-0 and eliminated after just two games, Nieto made one appearances and struck out two batters—big leaguers Felipe Lopez and Ramon Vazquez—while allowing one hit and one walk in .2 innings of work.

Ranked by the Birdhouse at #38 in the annual Top 40 Prospect Rankings, Nieto is quickly becoming a rising star in the organization and should make a big leap in the next rankings if he continues to pitch this well this season.

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