Catcher Adrian Nieto has been moved from advanced Single-A Potomac to Single-A Hagerstown. The organization needs another catcher in Hagerstown, and Nieto will be able to get a lot of playing time there. It is a chance for Nieto to show how far he has come after struggling in Hagerstown last season.
Nieto hit just .195 with 44 strikeouts in 2010 for the Suns. This season, he has worked very hard on his plate presence and swing at short-season Single-A Auburn. He came out on fire and was hitting the best he has had as a professional. Nieto raised his average to .302 in 30 games with five doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs for the Doubledays.
He then got the call to Potomac and was in Woodbridge, Va., for two games before the Suns called. The move to Hagerstown was not because of performance, it was more so the 6-foot, 200-lb. Cuban native could play on an everyday basis.
Auburn Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said Nieto has a chance to showcase his ability now and the organization still believes in his long-term potential.
"He did a great job for us," Cathcart said. "The window is still open for him. We have held his feet to the fire and he has worked diligently on his attention to detail behind the plate. Nieto is an extension of the manager on the field. He has made some improvements this season and is ready for the next challenge."
Nieto is a valuable commodity in the Nationals' system. His switch-hitting capability, his catching expertise and improved power numbers have kept coaches optimistic that Nieto will be able to eventually succeed at a higher level.
Cathcart said Nieto is not discouraged by the quick move up to Potomac and then over to Hagerstown.
"He knows chances like this don't come along very often. Nieto understands the value of playing everyday. The organization needs him in Hagerstown. He enjoys playing every day," Cathcart said.
Nieto has a golden opportunity to show the organization how far he has come in one year. He arrives in Hagerstown with a whole season of experience under his belt and a renewed confidence at the plate. Now it is his time to show what he can do on the field.