Quality Arms in Arizona’s System Continue to Make Stops in Reno
Reno, Nev. – As the Reno Aces pitching staff continues to take shape during Spring Training down at the Arizona Diamondbacks training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, manager Blake Lalli will likely have a large arsenal of talented arms to turn to as Reno looks to defend its Pacific Coast League
Reno, Nev. – As the Reno Aces pitching staff continues to take shape during Spring Training down at the Arizona Diamondbacks training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, manager Blake Lalli will likely have a large arsenal of talented arms to turn to as Reno looks to defend its Pacific Coast League Championship this season.
The reputation over the years for pitching in the Pacific Coast League is closer to throwing on the moon than in the majors. Still, these three outstanding pitching talents fans could have a chance to see them perform at Greater Nevada Field as they help the Aces in the upcoming year.
The reining Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Pitcher of the Year split the 2022 campaign between Double-A Amarillo and Reno and was the starting pitcher for the Aces in the PCL Championship Game against El Paso. Capping his record-setting season, the 6-foot-4 right-hander became the first MiLB pitcher to fan more than 200 batters since 2011, with 218.
Entering 2023, the Louisville, Kentucky native ranks as D-backs’ No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline and the organization’s top pitching prospect. And was voted as having the “Best Control” by Baseball America in the D-backs system following his 4.8-percent walk rate, which was the best among Arizona’s full-season qualifiers last season.
Pfaadt’s minor-league success and strong performance in Spring Training make him a dark horse in being a part of Arizona’s rotation out of camp. Still, if he does return to Reno, his time wearing an Aces uniform will be limited before he “gets the call” to join the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation.
Coming off the heels of Tommy John surgery in 2021, Martinez’s return from injury saw him skyrocket through four levels within the Diamondbacks organization, including a late-season promotion with the Aces. In 20 appearances, the 6-foot-3 righty produced a 3-3 record with one save and a 3.32 ERA. He also tallied a staggering 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
According to MLB Pipeline, Arizona’s No. 21 prospect, Martinez owns an upper 90’s fastball that averaged 97.4 mph during his short stint with the Aces last season, the Bonao, Dominican Republic native’s most devastating pitch is an upper-80s split change that he uses against left-handed hitters.
Following a solid performance in the Arizona Fall League, the 21-year-old was placed on Arizona’s 40-man roster in the off-season. As Martinez enters his second season since the TJ surgery, now at full strength, it won’t be long until his power arm takes the next step to be a key contributor in Arizona’s bullpen.
Stumpo, a former Division III outfielder at Guilford College, had an exceptional 2022 season and was a key contributor out of the Reno Aces bullpen. The 26-year-old Raleigh, North Carolina native converted all eight save opportunities with the Aces last season. In 45 games with Reno, he produced a 1-2 record with a 3.53 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched and held opponents to a .178 batting average while averaging 10.59 strikeouts per nine innings.
Stumpo possesses a mid-to-upper 90s mph fastball which compliments a heavy-tilt slider that is tough for hitters to recognize from his delivery. He looks in mid-season form as the 2023 campaign has already taken shape as a late-inning reliever for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Look for the final Reno Aces roster to be set before the 2023 season opener at Greater Nevada Field on Friday, March 31st, against the Las Vegas Aviators, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Season Memberships are available via RenoAces.com, texting “MEMBER” to 21003, or calling (775) 334-7000. Single Game tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 4th, at 10:00 am via RenoAces.com, the Greater Nevada Field Ticket Office, or by texting “TIXX” to 21003.