Kevin Nolan is a 20th round pick, who just finished his 6th minor league season, one that saw him finally reach Triple-A…..even if it was just for 21 games.
At 26 years old, Nolan shouldn’t still be considered a prospect anymore, but he should still be consider a viable minor league option as a utility player or injury replacement. His .291 wOBA, .280 BABIP, 6.6 BB%, and 12.6 K% suggest that he can handle the bat.
Kevin Nolan’s first Triple-A hit
Nolan experienced a drop in the power department with a .076 ISO while splitting time between Buffalo and New Hampshire. He really struggle to find a groove while in Buffalo, 0.042 ISO and no home runs, albeit, he was never really given a chance to work out his kinks while in Buffalo due to his sporadic playing time . He was called up for 7 games in April, and 14 at the end of July and into August…not really long enough stretches to make the required adjustments.
Nolan started the season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and struggled for all of April and May, but really turned things around in June (.279/.311/.412) and looked like a completely different player in July (.340/.382/.495), until coming back to earth in August (.244/.319/.268). Kevin hit .293 between the beginning of June and the end of August and .192 between April and May.
If you dig a little deeper it is clear that Nolan has the ability to hit with the game on the line. He hit .241/.284/.337 with a home run and 19 RBI with 2-out and RISP. When runners were at 2nd and 3rd, Nolan hit .333/.385/.417 and 7 RBI. In total, Nolan hit .269/.336/.398 with RISP…not to shabby for a middle infielder that struggled mightily during the first two months of the campaign.
Nolan appears more comfortable when leading off an inning (.280/.347/.411) and ahead in the count (.290/.442/.409). In 28 ‘Day’ games, Nolan hit 4 home runs, while only hitting a single home run in 74 ‘Night’ games. Got schedule more games during the day for this guy.
In the field Nolan showed his athleticism by playing all the infield positions, expect catcher. His main position is as a shortstop where he played 93 games. Nolan posted a .953 fielding percentage, a 4.38 RF, and no errors at short.
With younger infielders pushing their way up the ranks it may be tough for Kevin to get at-bats in 2015. If Nolan is back with the Blue Jays organization in 2015, we can expect him to be manning SS for the Bisons with departure of Jonathan Diaz (minor league free-agent). If he has any visions of making to Toronto in 2015 he will have to start the season off strong with younger options like Jorge Flores, Shane Opitz, and Emilio Guerrero hot on his heels.
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