The St. Louis Cardinals may have the next pitching phenom on their hands.
Edwin Nunez, an 18-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic who can dial his fastball up to 100 mph, signed with the Cardinals on Saturday for $525,000 as international signing reopened across Major League Baseball.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound pitcher is regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the 2019-20 class, per Baseball America, and consistently throws in the upper 90s and tops out in the triple-digits.
Only one high school age pitcher from the 2020 MLB Draft class – San Diego Padres supplemental first-round pick Justin Lange from Llano High School in Texas – has hit 100 mph on the radar gun.
Nunez was on the radar for teams last year during the 2018-19 signing period, but was declared ineligible by MLB due to a discrepancy in his age. International signings can sign as young as age 16.
In addition to his blistering fastball, Nunez boasts a sharp curveball, although inconsistent at times, and a changeup which he rarely uses.
The Cardinals have found plenty of success with international signings older than 16 from the Dominican Republic, which include Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes.
The signing period, which began Friday after it was temporarily banned in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been extended until Oct. 15, while the next signing period, originally slated for July 2, has been pushed back to Jan. 15, 2021.