The leap from the minors to the big leagues is the most difficult one to make. It is hard enough for elite prospects but they will get every opportunity to make their mark anyway. Fringe prospects, when given a chance to show what they're capable of, are the ones that must seize the opportunity, grab it by the scruff of its neck, and never let it go. For the Arizona Diamondbacks' Ryne Nelson, his transition to the MLB was as good as any.
The former second-round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2019, Ryne Nelson made his debut as a starter for the Diamondbacks in a 5-0 shutout victory against playoff hopefuls San Diego Padres, no small feat against a lineup led by stalwarts Juan Soto and Manny Machado. Nelson pitched seven shutdown innings, striking out seven and walking none.
This made him only the second pitcher in MLB history since 1901 to post 7+ Ks and 0 walks in 7+ scoreless innings pitched in their MLB debut, only after Nick Kingham in 2018, according to Diamondbacks beat writer Steve Gilbert. (Gilbert's tweet is incorrect in using relief pitcher Kyle Nelson's name. Ryne Nelson made the MLB debut, not Kyle, as pointed out by Twitter user AZSportsRealtor)
Ryne? Ryne isn’t even close to Kyle.
— Azsportsrealtor (@AZSportsRealtor) September 6, 2022
Ryne Nelson was stellar in his MLB debut.
7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K pic.twitter.com/yw3d1vy1x6
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) September 6, 2022
Ryne Nelson had struggled all year long in Triple-A, his ERA ballooning to 5.43 in 26 starts. It's not that unprecedented, however, for Diamondbacks fans to think that Nelson could end up producing better numbers under the tutelage of Major League coaching.
Diamondbacks fans would also hope that Nelson ends up turning in a better career than Kingham, who, after his promising debut, flamed out of the Majors after struggling to the tune of a 5.21 ERA in 2018 and 7.28 ERA in 2019.
The Diamondbacks, who recently promoted number one prospect Corbin Carroll, are all but out of the playoff picture. In addition to Carroll's emergence, Arizona will have something to look forward to in Ryne Nelson, and his development could be a vital part of Arizona's push to make the postseason next year.