Monday, June 14, 2010

Astros add another catcher

The Astros signed Kentucky catcher Marcus Nidiffer as an undrafted free agent.

From UK Athletics:
A native of Bristol, Tenn., Nidiffer has served as UK's primary starting backstop for the last three seasons, playing in a total of 153 games with 121 starting assignments, redshirting during UK's 2006 SEC Championship season. In his UK career, Nidiffer batted .284 (121-for-426) with 91 runs scored, 18 doubles, two triples, 25 homers and 84 RBI, stealing 7-of-8 bases, finishing with a .512 slugging percentage and a .377 on-base percentage. After playing in just eight games and seeing six at bats as a redshirt freshman in 2007, Nidiffer emerged as UK's primary catcher in 2008, splitting time with then-senior Tyler Howe behind the plate. In 2008, Nidiffer batted .216 (25-for-116) with 20 runs scored, five doubles, one triple and five homers, driving in 17 RBI. As a junior, UK relied heavily on Nidiffer as UK lacked depth behind the plate, forcing him into catching throughout the season without many days off. Despite playing the majority of the season with a broken thumb on his catching hand, Nidiffer suited up daily for the backstop position, leading UK with 10 homers, the seventh UK catcher in program history to lead the team in homers. Overall during 2009, Nidiffer hit .312 (49-for-157) with 37 runs, six doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 32 RBI.

As a fifth-year senior in 2010, Nidiffer batted .320 (47-for-147) with 32 runs, seven doubles, 10 homers and a career-high 35 RBI. Defensively, Nidiffer led the SEC in pickoffs by a catcher, nabbing four runners off base and catching a total of eight runners stealing base.

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