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Saturday, June 17, 2023

David Nied hoped for quality starts with Rockies, did briefly, then injuries came; Saw bigs over five seasons

David Nied 1990 Durham Bulls card, Nied seen up close with glove

Five years after David Nied gained notoriety as the top pick in the Rockies-Marlins expansion draft, Nied looked back content in life after baseball, according Bloomberg News Service.

He'd seen the bigs in parts of five seasons with the Braves and Rockies, but injuries caught up with him earlier in 1997 and he'd retired, the news service wrote.

"I miss the people in the game," Nied told the news service. "But my last couple of years, I saw my talent deteriorate. It rubbed me raw so bad, I said I didn't care about picking up a baseball again. I still feel that way."

Nied's career started a decade earlier, taken by the Braves in the 14th round of the June draft out of Duncanville High School in Texas.

Nied started with the Braves at single-A Sumter. He went 12-9, with a 3.76 ERA over 27 starts. That August, he spoke with The Sumter Item about his progress.

"I've been throwing real well lately and my teammates have been getting some runs for me," Nied told The Item. "Earlier this year, my curve was real erratic and I was relying on just my fastball and you can't get by with that in this league."

Nied moved to single-A Burlington and Durham for 1989, then Durham at high-A for 1990. He made Greenville for part of 1991, then AAA Richmond - and Atlanta - in 1992.

Nied went 14-9 at Richmond, with a 2.84 ERA in 26 starts before earning a six-game look from Atlanta where he went 3-0, with a 1.17 ERA. 

Despite that success, the Braves left him unprotected in that November's expansion draft and the Rockies selected him top overall. Nied told The Associated Press after his selection he was surprised he wasn't protected, but had no hard feelings.

"I don't set goals, but I expect to go out and get quality starts every five days," Nied told The AP. "This may be an expansion team, but I'm not going out there to lose. I go out there to win."

Nied ended up seeing 16 starts for Colorado in 1993. He went 5-9, with a 5.17 ERA. He then saw 22 starts there in 1994 and went 9-7,  with a 4.80 ERA.

Nied's final two seasons proved brief. He saw two relief appearances in 1995 due to elbow surgery, and six outings in 1996 that would prove to be the end of his career.

David Nied 1990 Durham Bulls card, Nied seen up close with glove

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,175
Made the Majors:1,376-33.0%-X
Never Made Majors:2,799-67.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:559-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:343

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