Boston Red Sox Prospects: Nathan Hickey’s advanced plate presence
Red Sox prospect Nathan Hickey shows incredible poise at the plate
When the Boston Red Sox used a fifth-round pick on catcher Nathan Hickey in the 2021 MLB amateur draft, everyone knew he had a special bat. He had some work to do defensively behind the plate, but the arm was strong. Anything he gave you defensively was just a plus.
Now, one thing that was known about Hickey when he was drafted was that he was incredibly patient at the plate. The poise that he shows has been absolutely eye-opening though.
We are now two months into the season. Hickey has appeared in 33 games. In that time, the left-handed hitter holds a .262/.432/.458 slash line. In 107 at-bats he’s already managed nine doubles and four home runs. The run production has been great too, driving in 27 runs and scoring 22 more.
Let’s talk about that really big number in the middle of the slash line though. That .432 on-base percentage. Hickey has 143 plate appearances this season. He’s struck out 29 times and drawn a walk 33. That’s not some fluke stat either. If you’ve watched a Nathan Hickey at-bat you’ll see the confidence he has at the plate.
Hickey is perfectly fine taking a barely-off-the-plate pitch with two strikes. He knows it was a ball. It’s the fact that he never panics. He waits for his pitch. Sometimes, this leads him to not the most favorable counts. And sometimes that perfect pitch doesn’t come in an at-bat. But he’s still going to be selective.
That’s something you don’t see in a lot of hitters. It’s definitely something you don’t see in a lot of hitters in the minors with not even 200-career plate appearances yet.
Hickey is only 22 years old. He’s showcasing an incredible presence at the plate in Low-A. Could we see him take his act to High-A soon?
The Boston Red Sox have quite a few interesting catching prospects in their system. And if we’re being honest, Hickey needs some work on the defensive end. But his offense feels miles ahead of where it should be at this stage in his career. The potential is there for one of the most dangerous bats behind the plate in the league. He can hit for a solid average and the power potential is a definite plus.
But it all comes back to the “P’s” … poise, patience, and overall plate presence when talking about what makes Nathan Hickey so special.