by: Victor Suarez
Nestor Cortes Jr. is a left-handed pitcher for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was born on December 10, 1994, in Hialeah, Florida. Cortes attended Hialeah Senior High School and was a standout player on the school’s baseball team. He was later drafted by the New York Yankees in the 36th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft, but he decided to attend college instead.
Cortes went on to play college baseball at Florida International University, where he was a two-way player, pitching and playing infield. In 2015, he was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team as a designated hitter. He was then drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 36th round of the 2016 MLB draft.
Cortes made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles on March 31, 2018, against the Minnesota Twins. He was later traded back to the New York Yankees in 2018, where he pitched in the minor leagues until being called up to the majors in 2021.
In his first season with the Yankees, Cortes emerged as a reliable pitcher, primarily working out of the bullpen but also starting games when needed. He posted a 2-2 record with a 2.47 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched over 30 games. He was also known for his unique pitching style, which includes a slow wind-up and a variety of pitches that keeps hitters off-balance.
Off the field, Cortes is known for his positive attitude and work ethic. He is a family man and credits his parents for instilling in him a love for baseball and a strong work ethic. Cortes has also been actively involved in charity work, including supporting organizations that help underprivileged youth in his hometown of Hialeah.