Nelson Walter Figueroa, Jr. (born May 18, 1974 in Brooklyn, New York) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros. He attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where he pitched for three years and earned a bachelors degree in American Studies. The right-handed starting pitcher and occasional long reliever stands at 6'1", 205 pounds. He features a fastball touched 91 mph, curveball, slider, and changeup. He is of Puerto Rican descent and played for Puerto Rico in the past World Baseball Classics
Figueroa attended Abraham Lincoln High School.
He was drafted 833rd overall by the New York Mets in the 30th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft and was subsequently traded along with outfielder Bernard Gilkey to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998 for Jorge Fábregas, Willie Blair and cash considerations. Figueroa made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks during the 2000 season, becoming the first Brandeis University alumnus to reach the major leagues. Figueroa started in three games that year and compiled an 0-1 record and a 7.47 ERA. On July 26, 2000, Figueroa was traded with Vicente Padilla, Travis Lee, and Omar Daal to the Philadelphia Phillies for Curt Schilling. Figueroa spent the rest of the 2000 season pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons of the International League (AAA), compiling a record of 4-3 and an ERA of 3.78.