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Card: 2021 Panini Prizm Draft Picks #PDP205
Vincent Joseph Pasquantino (born October 10, 1997 in Richmond, VA) is a professional baseball first baseman for the Kansas City Royals. He grew up a loyal Yankees fan. His nickname, "The Italian Nightmare" is rumored to have come from George Brett, who asked Vinnie in Spring Training: "What is your goal here?" Vinnie replied: “to have every pitcher think about me the night before and have a nightmare” - resulting in a truly fabulous moniker.
1B Vinnie Pasquantino was considered one of the top three prospects in the Kansas City Royals organization when he made his debut with the team on June 28, 2022. That was in spite of having played only the equivalent of two full seasons in the system, after being a mid-level draft pick.
He was drafted by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2019 amateur draft, out of Old Dominion University and rose quickly through the minor league ranks. In his first pro season, he hit .294/.371/.592 in 57 games for the Burlington Royals of the Appalachian League but then had to sit out the 2020 season when the minor leagues were shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic.
In 2021, he really emerged after starting the season with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the High-A Central. He hit .291 with 13 homers in 61 games to earn a mid-season promotion to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Double-A Central, where he did even better. That's when he began to show up on top prospect lists, and his strong start with the Omaha Storm Chasers of the AAA International League put him in an even brighter spotlight, as he batted .280 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs in his first 69 games, and even had more walks than strikeouts (37 to 36). He was named the IL Player of the Month for May.
Fans in Kansas City were clamoring for Pasquantino to be called up to the big club, which had one of the worst records in the majors by mid-June of 2022. They got their wish when the Royals traded 1B Carlos Santana to the Seattle Mariners on June 27th, clearing a spot on the roster for Vinnie. He was not available to play that day, the trade having come too close to the game, but on June 28th he was in the starting line-up as the DH and number 6 hitter against the Texas Rangers (Hunter Dozier was starting at first base).
He went 0-for-4 in his debut, an 8-3 loss. He hit his first homer on July 1st, although he thought at first that he had been thrown out at second base by Detroit Tigers RF Willi Castro, before a video replay confirmed that the ball had indeed cleared the fence before bouncing back on the field where Castro retrieved it.
Vinnie is on Twitter @VPasquantino.
(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)
Vinnie is part of the MLB Current Players Tour – Go To The Next Stop
“The Italian Nightmare” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See Pasquantino’s baseball cards at TCDB
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