Nestor Cortes Jr., a Cuban-American baseball pitcher, plays for MLB’s New York Yankees. A 2013 MLB Draft, Cortes spent several years in the minor league before the Yankees promoted him to the major league in 2020.
Having played minor league teams: Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners, the FIU alumnus’ name was nowhere to be heard a few years back.
But his signature mustache, unique style of pitching, and impressive career stat echoed his name in no time. Nestor played his second MLB season as a Yankee in the 2022-23 season with jersey number #65.
Nestor initially envisioned himself as a marine biologist, but the thought of returning to school terrified him.
Moreover, thanks to his father Nestor Sr, who would play catch with him, that filled him with baseball interest. And by the time Cortes Jr. went to school, he would join his father in baseball games.
Now, the player has become a fan’s favorite. So, how did Nestor Cortes go from being an underrated player to the ace of the Yankees in the MLB? More on the baseballer’s family, relationship & net worth here.
Nestor Cortes | Quick Facts
|Full name||Nestor Cortes Jr.|
|Date of Birth||December 10, 1994|
|Birthplace||Surgidero de Batabanó, Cuba|
|Age||28 Years Old|
|Father’s name||Nestor Cortes Sr.|
|Mother’s name||Yuslaidy Cortes|
|Height||5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|Eye color||Dark Brown|
|Marital Status||Not married|
|Girlfriend||Alondra Gabriela Esteras Russy|
|Plays for||New York Yankees|
|Awards and Honors||All-Star (2022)|
|Social Media Presence||Instagram, Twitter|
|Last Update||June, 2023|
Nestor Cortes Jr.| Parents, Education & Family Background
Born on December 10, 1994, in Surgidero de Batabanó, Cuba, Nestor Jr. is the only child of Nestor Cortés Sr. and Yuslaidy Cortes.
When the Cuban-American baseballer was only seven months old, his father won the visa lottery and relocated to Hialeah, Florida, USA.
Nestor Cortes Jr. attended Hialeah High School before he enrolled at the Florida International University to play college baseball.
His father worked as a fork lifter while his mother worked as a manicurist, but they never compromised to get what was best for their son.
Reportedly, the baseball pitcher’s parents married in 1994 after they met in 1993. The two celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary on February 12, 2022.
Father Jailed For Failed Attempt To Defect From Cuba
After the economic crisis hit Cuba, Cortes Jr.’s father Nestor Sr., who was then single & in his 20s, tried everything to escape Cuba.
With his brother and two cousins, he rented a boat on the northern coast to travel to the US. However, the boat never arrived, and he was found guilty of an attempt to defect to Cuba & was sentenced to one-year prison instead.
Nestor Cortes Sr. was paroled in 10 months and met his future wife, Yuslaidy, in 1993. Even when his wife was pregnant, he never gave up on moving to the United States.
And in 1995, when the US government and the Cuban government agreed to a visa lottery, he signed up immediately & finally got the visa.
Nestor Cortes | Father Supported His Baseball Interest
Like any father, Nestor Cortes Sr. was a role model, hero & close friend of the future baseball star.
No wonder their father-son bond is like that of best friends. Nesta Cortes Jr. wishes his dad Father’s Day & often shares his pictures on his Instagram.
By the time he turned four years old, his father would play catch with him. While his mother insisted on good grades, Nestor Sr. would inspire him to pursue athletics.
Even more, he would take him to baseball night games, specifically to watch MLB’s Florida Marlins at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Nestor Jr. would later join the list of MLB stars from Hialeah, including Gio González, Albert Almora, and Manny Machado.
Nestor Cortes Jr. | Selected As The 2013 MLB Draft
The Cuba-born baseball pitcher was dubious of his chances of making the major leagues as he was to graduate. His middle school coach Marti inspired him to be confident in his gameplay.
Reportedly, he even advocated for Cortes in the Yankee’s front office.
For a collegiate career, Nestor Cortes Jr. committed to Florida International University. His coach even assured the baseballer that he was among the prospects of the Yankees in the MLB draft.
Finally, the MLB team New York Yankees selected the left-handed pitcher as the 36th round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft and offered him an $85,00 signing bonus.
Struggle & Game Through Minor Leagues
Despite being a 2013 MLB Draft pick, Nestor Cortes had to wait for seven years before he could unveil his talent in his MLB debut. He struggled with money and regularly had Little Caesars’ pizza for dinner.
The baseball pitcher spent three years playing in the rookie ball- first at Gulf Coast Yankees and then at Pulaski Yankees before joining Charleston RiverDogs in 2016.
Until 2017, he pitched for Tampa Yankees (Class A-Advance of FSL), Trenton Thunder (Class AA of Eastern League), and SWB RailRiders (Class AAA International League).
As a part of the 2017 Rule 5 draft, Nestor Cortes Jr. went to play for MLB’s Baltimore Orioles after the Yankees declined to sign him to their 40-man roster following his 2.06 ERA across three minor league levels.
There, he recorded 10 hits, two home runs, four runs, two walks, and three strikeouts in four games. In 33 games at the major league level in 2019, he had a 5.67 ERA.
In 2018, Cortes Jr. returned to the Yankees- they put him in the minor league again, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Estrellas Orientales.
The player was transferred to the Seattle Mariners on November 25, 2019, for funds from the international bonus pool. In 2020, Nestor pitched 7+23 innings and allowed 13 runs.
After being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on October 22, 2020, Nestor was immediately removed from the 40-man roster and declared free agency.
Nesta Cortes | Improvement & Roster Of Yankees In Major League
By late 2020, Nestor completely overhauled his pitching arsenal- an adjusted grip on his fastball to slider & a cutter.
Nestor gradually regained his confidence by practicing with former Tacoma Rainiers pitching coach Rob Marcello and honing his craft in the Dominican Winter League.
Likewise, he discovered how to capitalize on his movement and deception as his unique selling points in order to distinguish.
Once again, to rejoin the New York Yankees organization, Nestor signed a minor league contract on December 20, 2020. By May 30, 2021, the Yankees promoted him to play in the major league (MLB).
Fan’s Favorite And Signature Mustache
In order to symbolize his growing confidence in himself, Nestor thought he needed to commemorate the beginning of this new chapter in his life. The player made a choice to grow a mustache.
Cortes’ teammates ridiculed him when he received the call to return to the major leagues sporting his new appearance. However, he disregarded them.
Throughout the 2021 season, Nestor established himself as a favorite among Yankees supporters.
It was all thanks to his distinctive mustache, distinctive throwing style, and numerous successful outings, which earned him the nickname “Nasty Nestor” and much praise.
Whether it was because of his new facial hair, his upgraded equipment, or both, Cortes’ performance immediately increased.
According to Baseball Savant, Cortes’s spin rate has increased on all of his pitches during the past two years. Moreover, his preferred pitch this season is the cutter, which he also adopted.
Even though Cortes is still only averaging 90.5 miles per hour, his fastball has also increased by roughly two miles per hour.
What Is Nestor Cortes Jr Upto In 2022?
Nestor Cortes Jr. played his second MLB season as the Yankees in the 2022-23 season, with the new joinings Harrison Bader, Marwin Gonzalez, and Scott Effross.
Even more, he marked his first-ever All-Star Game participation.
He joined the 40-man roster in 2021 alongside DJ Lemahieu, Tim Locastro, Aroldis Chapman, and Aaron Judge.
Having started in all 28 games of the 2022 season, Cortes Jr. is likely to start in the 2023-24 season that runs through March 29, 2023- October 2, 2023.
Nestor Cortes | Is He Married? More On Relationship
The left-handed pitcher is yet to get married but enjoys a blissful relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Alondra Gabriela Esteras Russy.
Nestor Cortes Jr. and Alondra began dating in 2015 and celebrated their 7th relationship anniversary on November 24, 2022.
His girlfriend Alondra (b. August 16, 1996) is of Puerto Rican descent and currently resides in Miami, Florida. The Florida Career College attendee has two sisters: Dalila Ruiz Rucci and Kary Esteras.
After the All-Star game in July 2022, Nestor proposed to his girlfriend and announced their engagement via Instagram with a series of photos from the celebration.
He wrote: “All Star week made 2 of my dreams come true”
The player made his relationship with Russy official with his parents beside him.
Nestor got down on one knee and put a ring on Russia’s hand. Russy. of course, was over the cloud and said “Yes” to the proposal.
Through ups and downs, the couple managed to keep each other happy and are still supporting each other through everything.
The pair are yet to announce their marriage, but we are sure to hear some wedding bells soon.
Nestor Cortes | Age & Body Measurements
The baseball player Nestor Cortes Jr. was born in 1994. Hence the player is 28 years old.
Cortes was born in the Dog year, according to the Chinese calendar. Nestor’s zodiac is Sagittarius.
Talking about Cortes’ physical features, he has a height of 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m) and weighs 210 lbs (95 kg). The player has a well-maintained body, and he exercises in the gym regularly.
Nestor has many tattoos on his body. For instance, he has a tattoo of “Hialeah 305”. Additionally, the player bats with his right hand and throws with his left hand.
The four-seam fastball that Nestor throws averages about 91 mph (146 km/h). He also employs a curveball, a slider, a changeup, and other less common pitches. His curveball has been clocked at as little as 47 mph (76 km/h).
The player’s effective wind-up conceals the ball well, which helps to mitigate the issues his lower stature causes. Likewise, his arm angle is a little bit different when throwing a slider or curveball compared to a four-seam fastball.
In order to confuse batters, Nestor also uses deception during his wind-up. He occasionally varies the timing of his steps, halts, and rock back and forth in the middle of his wind-up, shortening the wind-up on occasion and releasing the ball very rapidly.
Nestor Cortes | Contract & Net Worth
With 10 years in baseball, Cortes Jr. signed up for MLB only in 2021 after the Yankees promoted him. While he struggled with money in minor leagues, the course has changed with a lucrative salary from the MLB deal.
Nestor Cortes Jr. has a net worth of $500,000 as of June, 2023.
Nestor Cortes agreed to a one-year, $727,500 contract with the New York Yankees on March 1, 2022. Previously, he signed a $568,700 contract with Seattle Mariners in 2018 before they sent him back to the Yankees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Nestor Cortes’ nickname?
Nestor Cortes earned the loving nickname “Nasty Nestor” from Yankees supporters after starting this season 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA.
What jersey number is Nestor Cortes?
Nestor Cortes wears jersey number #65 with the New York Yankees.