30 Players in 30 Days: Wil Nieves

Wil Nieves

Going into the 2009 season, Nieves was expected to fill his previous role as the Nationals’ backup catcher. When Jesus Flores went down with an injury 29 games into the season, Nieves’ role increased and he became a platoon catcher with teammate Josh Bard.

Prior to joining the Nationals, Nieves made his Major League debut with the San Diego Padres in 2002 and then later spent time as Jorge Posada’s backup on the New York Yankees. While he is regarded as a solid defensive catcher, his offensive numbers have kept him from becoming a starter.


042508-266 wil nieves c.JPGThough he finished this year with a .259 batting average, Nieves actually performed slightly better than his numbers suggest. His BAbip, or the batting average on balls in play, was .311. This shows that, when Nieves does make contact with the ball, he hits it well.

What Nieves can improve upon are his power numbers. Going into the 2010 season, he only has two career home runs–his first coming in the form of a walk-off winner to right field on April 25, 2008 against the Cubs at Nationals Park.

Nieves was slowed down at the end of the season by a pulled hamstring but is on the mend and preparing for 2010. With Flores expected to recover by next season, Nieves looks to return to his role as a veteran backstop. It’s a role he has flourished in.

Wil Nieves Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

72

224

20

58

67

6

0

1

26

17

1

45

1

0

.259

.313

.299

.612

1 Comment

Who? (Sorry, couldn’t resist, as that MASN commercial about his HR is burned into my memory. ;-))

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