TCD Top Stories: Pino No-Hits St. Lucie

One of the top minor league stories of the 2007 season was the No-Hitter thrown by Fort Myers starting pitcher Yohan Pino on June 30 against the St. Lucie Mets. In the game, Pino tossed seven no-hit innings, striking out seven. The Miracle won the game 7-0, and Pino established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the Twins organization.

On June 30, Fort Myers Miracle starting pitcher did something that had only happened one other time in the history of the Fort Myers Miracle. Yohan Pino, who won 14 games in 2006 as a member of the Beloit Snappers, tossed a seven inning gem, solidifying himself as one of the more dominant pitchers in the Twins organization. Coming into the 2007 season, Pino had won 23 games in his previous two years, but none were bigger than what he accomplished on that night.

Going into the start as the reigning Florida State League Pitcher of the Week, Pino was in control from the outset, and actually did not know he was pitching a no-hitter until the final out of the game. Playing against the St. Lucie Mets, Pino made the first game of the day's doubleheader a special one, blanking the Mets 7-0.

Before the start, Pino had not allowed an earned run in his previous two starts, and with the shutout effort, ran his scoreless innings streak to 22 innings. In that stretch, Pino lowered his earned run average from 2.38 to 1.55, and it was then that he showed that he could pitch at a higher level then other Florida State League pitchers. He went seven innings, walked four, struck out seven, and he notched his third win of the season at that point.

His teammate and interpreter Juan Portes blasted a two-run home run, and that was basically all the offense the team needed.

For Fort Myers, Pino appeared in 19 games for the team, making nine starts, and finished his Florida State League season with a 1.73 earned run average. He won four games, lost three, and struck out nearly a batter per inning. More importantly, batters hit only .192 against him.

Towards the end of the season, Pino was promoted to Double-A New Britain, where he struggled after the call-up. He went from the Midwest League to the Eastern League in one season, so his struggles are definitely not alarming. He should be in the starting rotation to start the season in New Britain next season, but could be in Rochester by the end of the season.

Pino is a very interesting prospect because he can pitch in the rotation and from the bullpen. He has dynamite stuff, and Twins brass has already expressed that he will be a big part of their future. He will only be 24 years old next season, so he has at least another year of seasoning before he will be in the Major Leagues.

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