Vinnie Pasquantino

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Vincent Joseph Pasquantino
(The Italian Nightmare)

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Biographical Information[edit]

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, batting .310 in 55 games, with 11 homers. Overall, his combined line in 116 games was .300/.394/.563 with 37 doubles, 24 homers, 79 runs scored and 84 runs. 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 him 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. He would have had his first major league hit in either case, but it would have been a lot less glorious to be caught stretching on the milestone play. He hit .295 in 72 games with 10 homers and 26 RBIs as a rookie and was named the DH on the 2022 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Before the 2023 season, he was named to the Italian national team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He played 61 games for the Royals, hitting .247 with 9 homers and 26 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 109. However, he played his last game on June 9th due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder that forced him to miss the rest of the year.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Mike Petriello: "What makes Pasquantino's arrival so interesting: KC prospect hit 18 HR in Triple-A with a 36/37 K/BB", June 27, 2022. [1]
  • Anne Rogers: "Meet the Italian Nightmare",, June 7, 2022. [2]
  • Anne Rogers: "Pasquantino bonding with Italy teammates",, March 6, 2023. [3]

Related Sites[edit]