How did he get here?: Signed as undrafted free agent (2010)
Stats: 6'2" 200 lbs, Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hometown/Birthplace: Bristol, TN
Age as of April 1, 2011: 24
2010 Men of the Match: 7
(Cumulative: Greeneville + Tri-City)
The Astros signed Nidiffer on June 14 out of Kentucky, where he was the starting catcher, and hit .284/.377/.512 for the Wildcats (.320 as a senior)
He joined the Gastros in time for the beginning of the season, and pretty much killed it right from the start, going 42x131 in June and July. Seven of his first ten hits were for extra-bases (five doubles, two homers). He spent 48 games with Greeneville, hitting .303/.393/.588 with a .361 BABIP.
Nidiffer was promoted to Tri-City in August, where he hit .250/.326/.425 in 21 games for the ValleyCats, and hit the game-sealing homer in G1 of the NYPL Championship against Brooklyn.
What went right?
The first half of the season. Nidiffer's first 131 ABs, he hit .321 with 19 XBHs (10 doubles, 1 triple, eight homers).
Hitting late. In the 7th inning or later, Nidiffer hit .321.
Non-ground balls. For this season, only 38.3% of his in-play balls were grounders. He hit 16% line drives, and 45.6% fly balls.
Not hitting into GIDPs. In 107 ABs with runners on, Nidiffer only hit into one GIDP.
What went wrong?
That second half. In August and September, Nidiffer hit - between Greenville and Tri-City - .229 (30x131), including a 2x33 stretch in September, before the playoffs started. Both hits were homers.
Hitting w/RISP. Nidiffer was 10x58, for a .172/.278/.276 line w/RISP. His OPS with runners on is much better (.947), so I'm not sure what the problem was.
Appy Astros says:
Nidiffer played a solid first base, only making 4 errors on the season. He wasn't spectacular but he improved as the season progressed...Those close to the team gave Nidiffer high marks for his character and leadership as well. He will have a tough road to climb to make it very far in the system. His age and his status as a NDFA are working against him.
Even though he didn't fare so well in Tri-City, given his age, I'd like to see him in Lexington, and if he does well, he'll need to be in Lancaster by the end of the season. Let's hope he was a steal in the draft.