Nicholas John Pugliese
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
Nick Pugliese pitched as high as AA.
Pugliese was 11-3 in high school and 5-4 in junior college. Transferring to Stetson, he was 1-1 with a 5.58 ERA in 17 games (2 starts) in 2007. In 2008, he improved to 3-4, 4.27 with only 11 walks in 65 1/3 innings. Undrafted, he was signed by Los Angeles Angels scout Tom Kotchman as a free agent. He split the summer between the AZL Angels (1-1, Sv, 1.21 ERA, .91 WHIP in 17 G) and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (2 Sv, 1 R in 4 IP), doing very well for an undrafted free agent. In 2009, he was with the Quakes (7 R in 7 2/3 IP) and the Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-2, 2 Sv, 2.52, 46 K, 6 BB in 35 2/3 IP). In 2010, Nick pitched for Rancho Cucamonga primarily (4-4, 5.31) but got into three games with the Arkansas Travelers (1 R in 5 IP, 8 K). He began 2011 with the Inland Empire 66ers but struggled in six games (10 H, 4 BB, 7 R in 8 2/3 IP, 1-0) and was released in mid-May. Overall, he had gone 9-7 with 3 saves and a 3.96 ERA in 94 games in the Angels chain. He struck out 141 in 141 innings.
Pugliese then joined the Italian national team for the 2011 Baseball World Cup. He wasn't the only undrafted 2008 Angels signee to play in the tourney - Matt Shoemaker (who had turned out to be an even better find) was with Team USA. He allowed 5 runs (3 earned) in four innings over four games, walking 3 and striking out four. Only Carlos Richetti and Andrea Pizziconi had higher ERAs for the Azzurri. He wrapped up a combined shutout of Australia but took the loss versus Venezuela. Against Venezuela, he relieved Luca Panerati with a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the 9th, a man on and two out. He struck out Ronald Acuna to force extra innings. Italy scored twice in the top of the 10th, but Pugliese ran into trouble in the bottom of the inning. Venezuela started with two men aboard due to the IBAF extra innings rule. Yonathan Sivira stole third then Nick plunked Rodolfo Cardona to load the bases. Yovany D'Amico relieved and let the inherited runners all score to end it.