Puerto Rican-born Tomas Nido has a made a reputation for himself over the last handful of years for having a solid glove, arm and receiver behind the plate, but it’s his bat that quietly went unnoticed this spring.
In the notably small sample of 22 plate appearances, Nido, the ninth rated prospect at MMN, is hit .300/.364/.500 with two extra-base hits. He was optioned to minor league camp Friday morning.
After an excellent 2016 with Advanced-A St. Lucie where Nido .320/.357/.459, Nido was being looked at as a potential everyday player at catcher. Unfortunately, Nido’s stocked dropped significantly in 2017 in Double-A Binghamton where he hit a paltry .232/.287/.354. His time in the Arizona Fall League did not do him any favors as he hit an even worse .184/.250/.327.
Many believe that Nido’s defense will play at the major league level even if his bat doesn’t develop to be anything special. Still, there is some hope for his bat to come along.
Despite the results not being there in Nido’s slash line, his eye saw a bit of improvement, as he posted his highest walk rate (7.4 percent) since his rookie ball campaign in 2012 (8.6 percent) in about three times as many plate appearances (404 in 2017; 140 in 2012). Nido could have also been the victim of some unfortunate luck as his BABIP dropped a full .089 points from .344 in 2016, to .255 in 2017. While the former does seem a bit high, Nido has normally kept a high BABIP (.347 in 2014; .322 in 2015.)
Another improvement Nido’s game saw over the last couple of seasons has been the significant drop in his strikeout rate. Nido went from striking out 20.2 and 25.7 percent of the time in 2014 and 2015 to 11.4 and 15.6 percent in 2016 and 2017.
The simple problem is believed to be the amount of soft contact being produced by Nido’s bat. This could be from a mechanical tick which he though he’d corrected, or simply not being able to time pitches in a tougher league. He’s also been too aggressive early in the count at times.
Nido is expected to begin the year in Triple-A Las Vegas. We have seen that Nido does have some raw power in his bat, so if he continues catch up to pitching this season in the hitting-haven that is the Pacific Coast League, as he has this spring, it could change the landscape currently set for him.