Marlins Top 50 Prospect Countdown #34

RHP Nic Ungs has done some impressive things during his time in the Marlins organization and yet some scouts do not even consider him a prospect. Find out why in the latest installment of the Marlins Insider's Top 50 Prospect Countdown.

Florida Marlins Prospect Spotlight Countdown #34

Nic Ungs
Vital Stats:
Position: Pitcher
DOB: September 3, 1979
Birth Place: Dyersville, Iowa Height: 6'1 Weight: 220 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Acquired: Drafted by the Marlins in the 12th Round (362nd overall) of the 2001 amateur draft.

Overview:
In 2003, Nic Ungs was awarded the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year and he was also recognized as having the best control in the Marlins organization. Ungs has had success at every level he has competed in from college days at Northern Iowa all the way up to his short stint at Class AA Carolina.
In 2001, his first year in pro ball, Ungs had an unbelievable 40/0 K/BB ratio in 61 innings of work. This got the attention of a lot of scouts. He has continued to put up extremely impressive K/BB ratios every year since. The problem that most scouts have with him is that his K/IP ratio is considered weak.

Repertoire:
Ungs throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and change-up. The problem with all of these pitches is that none of them are of plus quality. His fastball is average, being clocked in the 87-88 mph range and his breaking pitches aren't considered knee bucklers.

Style: Ungs may not have the greatest of stuff but what he does have is pin-point accuracy. His style can best be categorized as a control-finesse approach. Nic is a smart kid who understands how to pitch and how to work the ball around the strike zone so that he can maximize the effectiveness of his pitches. Prior to his stint at Double A, Nic always maintained a very impressive H/IP ratio. But once he got to Double A, his ratio in this department noticeably jumped. For the scouts that doubted Ungs this is a clear vindication of their belief that his approach while effective against the lower caliber hitters of low minors could not stand-up to the better quality hitters of the higher levels.

Projection: Nic will most likely start this season at Double A Carolina. Once again he will be faced with the "finesse pitcher litmus test" of the better quality hitters that Double A ball presents.
To get back the attention of the organization Nic is going to have to prove that he is more than just a control pitcher whose effectiveness will decline as he rises through the system. If he improves on last years showing he could earn a ticket to Triple A Albuquerque by season's end.

Estimated Time of Arrival:
If all goes well for Ungs this season he could earn an invite to next years spring training. Nic does have his supporters within the organization who don't believe that just because he is a control-finesse pitcher that he should automatically be disregarded as a prospect. Those supporters feel that if he continues to prove he can get people out, he should be able to show whether he could do it at the highest level. He should be considered a prospect unless he proves otherwise, and he shouldn't be discredited strictly based on his style. There have been many talented pitching prospects in the past with the best stuff one could want and couldn't get guys out.

Year

Team

G

GS

IP

W

L

SV

H

BB

SO

ERA

2003

Jupiter

18

17

113.1

8

3

0

92

14

80

1.99

2003

Carolina

10

10

58.2

3

4

0

61

8

37

3.53



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