Tomas Nido C
Bats/Throws: R/R Ht: 6’0 Wt: 210 lbs Age: 23 (DOB 4/12/94)
All of a sudden, the Mets depth at the catcher position isn’t looking all that bad is it? Travis D’Arnaud stayed healthy and somewhat productive behind the dish in 2017, Kevin Plawecki rehabilitated his career last year with a big offensive showing in Vegas (not to mention joined the Launch Angle Revolution), and we already talked about the promise in teenager Juan Uriarte’s glove and bat. So where does this leave Tomas Nido after his up-and-down season last year for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies?
If you’re reading this article, you’ve already known about Tomas Nido, and have probably heard differing opinions on what he will become. Is he the catcher of the future? Or is he a backup? Unfortunately, 2018 is probably not going to answer those questions, as the soon to be 24 year old is destined to spend his entire year in the Pacific Coast League. But let’s see if we can highlight what us fans should be looking for as positive signs of development in Tomas Nido’s young career.
First off, the defense is nearly major league ready, and likely to be above average at that. All reports indicate plus arm strength with good pop-times behind the dish, so Nido should have no problem controlling the running game. Reports also indicate everything else you want in a catcher: leadership makeup, good pitch framing ability, and good mobility behind the plate. Now. Onto the bat.
The bat is not a nothing-burger. Or at least, it has, as they say in modern baseball parlance, a non-zero chance to be an asset at the Major League level. The raw bat speed is there, the swing maintains good loft, and Nido has tapped more and more into his power as his career has developed.
However, what scouts saw as Nido slashed a mere .232/.287/.354 in AA as a 23 year old, was an approach at the plate that will most likely not work against MLB caliber pitching. Heck, it didn’t work all that great against AA pitching. But Nido does show enough feel for the barrel that he kept his K% rate at a respectable %18, and walked a respectable %8. The book is not out on Nido’s bat, as a slight improvement in pitch selectivity would unlock enough of his power, that with the plus defense, Nido could potentially be a solid everyday regular. Maybe along the lines of an Austin Hedges mold. A mere look at the PCL numbers Nido is bound to put up might cloud some of the evaluation this year. But it will be nonetheless interesting to see what kind of reports on approach and pitch selectivity start coming out of Vegas this spring. At worst, the most-likely floor of backup catcher is still a major league role.