Now that the 2012 season has concluded for the New York Mets, we have taken a look at overall breakdowns for the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen this past season. We will now take a look at every player on the roster from A (Manny Acosta) to Y (Chris Young) as our Mets 101 Player Review series returns. In each review we will take a look at one player's 2012 performance and what role, if any, they can expect to have with the Mets in 2013. Today we will look at catcher Mike Nickeas.
2012 Stats: MLB: 47 Games, 109 At Bats, .174 Average, 1 Home Runs, 13 RBI's, 8 Runs Scored
AAA: .22 Games, 66 At Bats, .364 Average, 1 Home Run, 6 RBI's, 10 RBI's
2012 Story: Mike Nickeas entered 2012 as the backup catcher for Josh Thole. Nickeas didn't see much playing time early in the year, but when he did he was a solid defensive catcher who didn't offer much with the bat. One notable exception came on May 26th, when Nickeas made his only home run of the year a grand slam in a 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Nickeas shared the starting job with Rob Johnson while Thole was sidelined with a concussion, and he was kept around instead of Johnson following Thole's return. Nickeas was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo in late July for his lack of offense in favor of Johnson, and remained there when the Mets acquired Kelly Shoppach. Nickeas was called up in September as the third catcher and had a relatively uneventful finish to his year.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 90 Percent
2013 Role: Triple-A Catcher
It appears fairly clear that the Mets will bring Nickeas back. He is cheap enough to retain and offers value as a defensive catcher at Triple-A Las Vegas. Nickeas' defense and ability to call a game are valuable in developing pitchers, but he does not provide enough offensive punch to do it at the big league level. The Mets gave him a shot as the backup catcher for the last two seasons and it has not worked for them. Expect the team to sign a proven right handed veteran catcher to platoon with Thole while Nickeas works at Triple-A and makes an appearance if either big league catcher is hurt.
Check back tomorrow for Mets 101's Player Review of Jon Niese!
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