2013 Draft Sixth Round Pick: Jacob Nottingham, C, Redlands HS (CA)

Ryan Dunsmore

He's a project but the upside is there as a power hitting catcher with some receiving skills.

Summary

If you want some upside and some projection, this kid has it. He's definitely a project, but the upside definitely there. At first look, he looks like a right fielder as he stands 6-3 and is very lean, yet strong at 200 pounds. He then steps into the batters box and has a tall stance and you see a guy with power. Then, you see him put on catcher's gear and his defensive value shoots up!

He's an athlete. He's a pure athlete. He was offered a scholarship to play tight end at Arizona but chose a baseball scholarship to Oklahoma. Now he's faced with the decision to play for the Astros. I've already described his frame, but now you can understand the level of athleticism people see with him. He moves very well and will only improve now that he's focused on baseball.

At the plate, the swing is long. He's going to have to shorten up his swing and get his hands lower. But, his strength and height create very good leverage to create some loft in his swing and project for power. It's actually quite easy to see a scenario where he provides plus power. The batting average won't be great, but it can be good enough. He also has a pretty good eye and discipline. So, even though there are holes in his swing, he could have a pretty good OBP down the road.

Defensively is where the major project aspect comes in. No matter how good of a receiver, blocker, any catching aspect you are out of high school, it's a long way to being a good one at the major league level. There's a lot to learn. He has the athleticism, he has the understanding and is smart enough to take it all on though. He currently shows some good receiving skills and has a strong arm. He currently is posting pop times in the 1.9 range and could get better as he cleans up his throwing motion.

If it doesn't work out, he runs well enough and has the arm for right field.

Floor

He could end up putting on too much strength and outgrows catcher. With that, a corner outfield position is not out of the question. If that happens he could be a reserve outfielder with some pop in pinch hit situations as his major league floor.

Ceiling

I can see his upside of being above average defensively and having plus power from the right side. With his plate discipline giving above-average level OBP skills and then power, he could be an all-star level catcher. That's his ultimate ceiling that you can dream on.

Will he sign?

He went later than what Baseball America had him rated at as the 115th prospect, so he could see his value improve. With some focus on catching in college, he could definitely shoot up boards. However, I think he signs.

Bibliography

MLB.com

A two-sport standout for Redlands, Nottingham chose baseball over a scholarship offer to play tight end at Arizona. He is committed to Oklahoma for baseball, if he doesn’t sign with a Major League team after the Draft. Nottingham’s best asset is his power, which has the potential to develop into a plus tool. His swing has a tendency to get long, but he doesn’t get cheated at the plate. Defensively, he has the tools necessary to become a steady receiver and has a good arm. Nottingham is an aggressive player who has a good understanding for the game.

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