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Love Letters From Pronk: Tommy Nance

Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: Tommy Nance


Tommy Nance had a long and arduous journey to the big leagues. After a solid college career, he needed Tommy John surgery after his senior year. Because of this, he went undrafted and did not pitch in 2014. In 2015, he pitched for the WIndy City Thunderbolts, an independent team. This led to the Cubs picking him up. But then in 2017, he had a nerve injury that led to him missing an entire year. two out of four seasons, gone. That's usually where young pitcher careers end. But Nance battled back, pitching in AA for two years. Then 2020, he "missed" another full season due to the shutdown of minor league baseball. Then came 2021.


He started in AAA, pitching 6 innings, walking 1, and giving up 1 home run in 21 batters faced. Yes, that's 1 batter reaching per 10 batters faced. He stuck out 10 of those 21 batters. With injuries at the big league level, he was called into action, and made his debut on 5/17. He dazzled the cubs community with a nasty slider and a 97 MPH fastball.

With a slider spin rate that averaged 2959 RPM, he owns the 5th best spin rate among all MLB sliders. Wow-wah-wee-wah!


 

Dear Tommy,


Welcome to the big leagues and to Wrigley Field! Congratulations on your nice debut.

Way to hang in there despite all the ups and downs. Your pitching is impressive, but your resolve is even more so. Baseball is a game that requires incredible mental toughness, and you've got that edge. Obviously having a 97 mph fastball is also a boost, but you have to have the mentality to bounce back day after day after day. While lots of little league coaches might point to the stories of Kris Bryant and Javy Baez's trips to the big leagues, they should be sharing yours: a kid who did everything he could, despite several significant setbacks.


I've enjoyed watching you pitch so far. It's nice to have another weapon come out of the pen. Next up: you need a big league nickname. My suggestions are Nancinator, Nancey Pants, or TN slider.


Welcome to the show!

XOXO

-Pronk


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