By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Suns left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino won the 2014 Southern League earned run average (ERA) title with a 2.85 ERA, announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon.
In 28 starts this season for the Suns, Nicolino went 14-4 with his league-best 2.85 ERA in 170 and a third innings pitched. Nicolino also was the sole leader in Southern League wins with 14.
Nicolino also finished the regular season second in the league’s most complete games (2), tied for first in shutouts (2), second in innings pitched (170.1), lowest in WHIP (1.07), highest winning percentage (.778), lowest walks per nine innings (1.00), and fewest baserunners per nine innings (9.88).
Nicolino’s 2.85 ERA was second lowest in the Miami Marlins organization behind the 2.48 ERA of Domingo German, who spent the season with Single-A Greensboro. Nicolino and German were the only qualifying pitchers (minimum 0.8 innings pitched per team game) with a below-3 ERA in the Marlins organization.
The award adds to the list of accolades for Baseball America’s No. 4 Marlins prospect Nicolino, who was also the 2014 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher. Earlier this season he was named a Southern League Midseason All-Star, and the league also announced he was the “Best Left-Handed Pitcher” for postseason All-Stars. The postseason Southern League All-Star honor is the fourth time in his four-year career. Nicolino was also twice named a Southern League pitcher of the Week on June 23 and August 4.
In 2013 Nicolino was a Florida State League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. In 2012 Nicolino was a Midwest League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the TOPPS Midwest League Pitcher of the Year. In his first full professional season in 2011 Nicolino was a Northwest League Postseason All-Star, as well as a Baseball America Short Season All-Star.
Nicolino was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 draft out of University High School in Orlando, Florida. He was acquired by the Marlins organization following the 2012 season in a 12-player trade with the Blue Jays.
Nicolino will pitch for the Suns in the 2014 South Division Championship Series against the Mobile BayBears. Playoff tickets for games three, four, and five at Bragan Field from Friday Sept. 5 to Monday Sept. 8 are available at www.jaxsuns.com or by calling the box office at (904) 358-2846. Playoff tickets will be sold at premium game pricing with Home Plate Box tickets will be $16.50, Reserved tickets will be $12.50 and General Admission is $10.50. As A special promotion for the First Round of the Playoffs all Kids 12 and under will get in free.
The 2014 season is presented by Everbank, official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. The Suns are the Double-A Affiliate of the Miami Marlins and a member of the Southern League of Professional Baseball.