9. Tomas Nido, C
Height: 6’0”, Weight: 210 lbs.
DOB: 4/12/94 (23)
Acquired: 8th round, 2012 Draft (Orangewood Christian High School, Florida)
2017: Binghamton (Double-A): 102 G, 404 PA, .232/.287/.354, 19 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 0/0 SB, 30 BB, 63 K / NYM (MLB): 5 G, 10 PA, .300/.300/.400, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0/0 SB, 0 BB, 2 K
Born in Puerto Rico, Nido moved to Florida as a youth and enrolled in Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, making him eligible for the MLB Amateur Draft. The Mets selected him in 2012 with their 8th round pick, and the young backstop signed with them for $250,000. He made his professional debut later that year, hitting .242/.307/.339 in 38 games for the Kingsport Mets, but like many catchers, his development as a player seemed to lag behind players his same age and talent level. Everything finally clicked for Nido in 2016, while he was playing for the St. Lucie Mets. Changing the mechanics of his swing and eliminating aspects that contributed to inconsistent timing, inconsistent weight transfer, and an inconsistent swing path, the backstop hit .320/.357/.459, winning the Florida State League batting title. Unfortunately, he was unable to sustain the success, and hit .232/.287/.354 in 2017 with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
With the bat, Nido’s carrying tool is plus power. His swing has length and an unorthodox path, which limits how much of his raw power he can tap into during games. Thanks to good barrel control, the backstop does not strike out at an excessive rate, and over the course of the 2017 season displayed a much-improved eye at the plate.
Behind the plate, Nido has always had a good reputation and this past season changed nothing. He is quick and agile behind the plate, solid at both framing and blocking pitches. He regularly posts above-average pop-up times, and thanks to a quick transfer, above-average arm strength, and good accuracy, throws out a high percentage of runners that attempt to steal bases against him. Mature like a veteran, he is well-respected by the pitchers that work with him for calling a good game.
Lukas Vlahos says:
Nido posted his highest walk rate since 2012 in Rookie ball in Double-A, but still made too much weak contact that prevented him from tapping into more of his raw power. The minor league catching metrics from BP love his defense (rated him as the best defensive catcher in Double-A last season), but that will remain his only notable skill if he doesn't curb his overly aggressive approach. Perhaps more exposure to major league arms will force Nido to recognize pitches and refine his approach rather than relying on above average barrel control.
Steve Sypa says:
Nido had a great year with the bat in 2016, and then a relatively poor one in 2017. His BABIP plummeted nearly .100 points from 2016 to 2017, he hit a lot more ground balls, and his made a lot more weak opposite field contact. Are those poorer 2017 numbers an outlier, or is his ability to hit going to be suppressed by more advanced pitchers? At least his defensive ability is a lot clearer. Defensive metrics say he’s an excellent catcher, and in the times I’ve caught him, he definitely comes across as a leader on the field.