Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C  (Read 959 times)

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Offline imref

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Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Topic Start: July 03, 2013, 12:42:22 AM »
Full Name: Adrian Nieto
Born: 11/12/1989
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 200
Bats: S
Throws: R

Acquired in the 5th round of the 2008 draft out of American Heritage High School in Florida.

2009 Scouting Report:

http://nationals.scout.com/2/828174.html

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There are few young players who can tell the stories that Adrian Nieto has to offer. His family defected from Cuba when he was just four years old and spent 13 hours on a rickety old boat that was drifting aimlessly in the middle of the ocean when they were found by the Coast Guard. Nieto went from that tumultuous start to hitting two home runs to help his high school team win the Florida state championship. And from there, Nieto turned that into becoming a fifth round pick of the Nationals last June to start his pro career.

Nieto's baseball career started shortly after he arrived in the United States, but back in those days, he wasn't a catcher. He played shortstop and also spent some time on the mound before heading behind the plate when he was 13 or 14. Nieto told Scout.com that he was a good shortstop, but as he started to develop he was a little too slow to play the position as well as he had in the past.

Batting and Power: Nieto was initially a right-handed hitter, but picked up switch-hitting and as he's developed, it's almost impossible to tell which side was his original side. He took to switch-hitting thanks, in part, to Ken Griffey Jr. A friend of Nieto's - who happened to hit left-handed - had the Ken Griffey Swing-A-Way batting trainer and it became too much of an issue to switch the machine for Nieto to hit right-handed. He simply decided to keep the machine the way it was and learn to hit left-handed. All of that was at the age of nine. In his first game hitting left-handed, Nieto went 3-for-3 with three home runs and never looked back. One key to Nieto's offensive success is being smart enough to figure out what pitchers are trying to do to him. He's got average to slightly above average power to all fields and from both sides of the plate.

Baserunning and Speed: His speed started to decline as he developed and had to give up playing shortstop. Nieto doesn't have great speed and won't steal many bases, but his natural instincts for the game carry over to baserunning and he doesn't run into many jams.

Defense: Nieto admits that he was a little unprepared for catching in the Gulf Coast League. His first few games behind the plate, he was stabbing at pitches and underestimated the movement that the pitchers would get on their breaking balls. Sinkers were especially tough for Nieto, but he quickly started to develop the skills that he needed defensively. By the end of the season, Nieto actually had pitchers coming up to him to find out if he was going to be catching them that day. When pitchers want to throw to a particular catcher, you have to know that his defensive skills are above average. The only area of his defense that will need more work is his footwork. The plus is that Nieto knows his shortcomings and has a good enough work ethic that he'll conquer the problem before long.

Projection: Don't be fooled by Nieto's numbers in 2008. First, he had just 23 at bats and second, there is a lot of adjusting for a high school player to do when he turns pro. This is a young kid with a lot of tools and he has a brilliant future ahead of him. He's likely going to wind up being a defensive catcher in the realm of Ivan Rodriguez and have plenty of offense to go with the comparisons.

ETA: Even with his tough start to pro ball, Nieto believes that he can reach the majors in three or four years. He's going to be the type of player that starts off as a bit of a project until all of a sudden he starts putting up big numbers and likely starts skipping a level here and there. Look for Nieto to be pushing for a major league spot around 2013.

Comparison: The comparisons to a young Ivan Rodriguez are worth making. Rodriguez has always been a player who concentrates on his defensive skills and has all of the natural offensive skills that he needs to be successful. Nieto's offensive skills may not be quite where Rodriguez was in his prime, but he'll be putting up good enough numbers that he'll be considered a serious offensive threat.

Currently hitting .299 / .371 / .468 with 7 HRs at Potomac batting mostly 4/5.

Hit .257 / .346 / .393 with 6 HRs in 70 games at Low-A Hagerstown in 2012.

Offline Mr Clean

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Reply #1: July 04, 2013, 08:12:45 PM »
Just hit a 3 run homer. He could be in HBurg real soon.

Offline TigerFan

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Reply #2: July 04, 2013, 08:27:56 PM »
Just hit a 3 run homer. He could be in HBurg real soon.

Knock Leon down or out of a spot?

Offline comish4lif

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Reply #3: July 05, 2013, 01:47:48 PM »
Two weeks ago the P-Nats had a half day camp for kids, Nieto was one of the player who was coaching the kids. He seemed like a real nice guy and did a good job with the kids.

Offline hammondsnats

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Reply #4: July 05, 2013, 02:11:16 PM »
Two weeks ago the P-Nats had a half day camp for kids, Nieto was one of the player who was coaching the kids. He seemed like a real nice guy and did a good job with the kids.

good to hear.  i remember when he was drafted and signed, how there were some pretty high hopes for him (good size, tools, feel for the game) ... but injuries and lack of performance has hurt him.  sometimes it just takes time for these kids.  especially the ones coming out straight out of HS.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Adrian Nieto, C
« Reply #5: September 05, 2013, 10:31:56 AM »
Profile in Fangraphs discussing the Mesa Solar Sox:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/afl-prospects-angels-athletics-cubs-nationals-tigers/
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The Cool Backstory: Adrian Nieto, C, Nationals: Nieto, 23, has enjoyed a breakout year in his sixth professional season. The Cuba native has battled both personal demons — including a 50-game suspension — and injuries in his career but the 2013 season saw him produce an .821 OPS in 110 games as he matured as both a player and a person. He also possesses additional value derived from his ability to hit from both sides of the plate. Behind the dish, Nieto threw out 33% of base runners but could still stand to improve his receiving. With the lack of catching depth in the Nationals system, the young catcher’s development could really help the system — even if he ends up as a backup or occasional injury fill-in.