Born: Pembroke Pines, Florida
Age: 21 (6/11/98)
Height/Weight: 6’1”/175 lbs.
School: Florida International (Miami, Florida)
Nick MacDonald is the nephew of Ray Nelson, who played in the NFL. Unlike his uncle, Nick excelled on the baseball diamond, rather than the gridiron. Attending high school at Charles Flannigan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, he was named Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and 2016, and was named team MVP in 2016. After being recruited by multiple colleges, he eventually settled on Florida International.
In his first season as a Golden Panther, MacDonald posted a 4.29 ERA in 71.0 innings, allowing 67 hits, walking 30, and striking out 68. While the numbers do not jump off the page, they were good enough for the rookie to be named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. In 2018, he posted almost near-identical stats, posting a 4.26 ERA in 67.2 innings, allowing 66 hits, walking 28, and striking out 69. That summer, he pitched for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League. He posted a 4.59 ERA in 33.1 innings there, allowing 37 hits, walking 15, and striking out 33. Returning to Florida International for his junior year, MacDonald posted a 3.91 ERA in 76.0 innings, allowing 97 hits, walking 18, and striking out 68.
MacDonald throws from a three-quarters arm slot, throwing with considerable crossfire that takes him off the mound. The right-hander added about 40 pounds since enrolling at Florida International, which has helped his fastball. The pitch sits in the low-90s, topping out 94 MPH, and has arm-side movement. He complements his fastball with a curveball and changeup, both of which he has a good feel for and throws consistently. The curveball, which sits in the mid-to-high-70s, has 11-5 shape and is his primary weapon against left-handed hitters, backdooring it against them. His changeup, which sits in the low-to-mid-80s, has good fade and the right-hander rarely telegraphs it by slowing down his arm action.