- Full name Nicholas John Hundley
- Born 09/08/1983 in Corvallis, OR
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 203 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Arizona
- Debut 07/04/2008
Drafted in the 2nd round (76th overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2005 (signed for $465,000).
View Draft ReportHundley was drafted in the fifth round out of a Washington high school and has an opportunity to improve his draft stock marginally after three seasons at Arizona. He ranks right behind Southern California's Jeff Clement, Texas' Taylor Teagarden and Nevada's Brett Hayes as one of the nation's best catching prospects and could go as high as the second round if a team overdrafts for the position, as frequently happens. A solid defender with a strong, athletic body and above-average arm, Hundley has a quick glove-to-hand transfer that allowed him to throw out baserunners at a high rate this season, particularly in the second half. He has caught every day for the first time, unlike as a freshman when he was prone to passed balls and as a sophomore when he shared the job with the departed Richard Mercado. Hundley has also made considerable strides with the bat, improving from four home runs to a team-high 13 this season. He also boosted his average more than 50 points. Hundley comes from a strong athletic background. His father Tim is the defensive coordinator at Texas-El Paso and a member of the NAIA Football Hall of Fame after playing at Western Oregon.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A fifth-round pick by the Marlins out of high school, Hundley went three rounds earlier in 2005 after establishing himself as one of college baseball's best all-around catchers. His father Tim is the defensive coordinator for Texas-El Paso's football team. Hundley has struggled to find consistency since turning pro, but he turned it up a notch in the second half last year and finished fourth in the Texas League with 20 homers. He has strength and solid-average power, with just enough bat to profile as a backup catcher on a good team or a regular on a second-division club. When he's going well, Hundley uses the entire field, but he's geared for power and is a below-average hitter. His swing still lacks consistency, as he often cuts it off out in front instead of getting his arms extended. Defense doesn't come easy to him either, and at his best he's an average receiver, blocker and game-caller. He threw out 36 percent of TL basestealers with his strong, accurate arm, but he frequently flies open, causing his throws to tail away from the bag. He's a below-average runner but fine for a catcher. Hundley and Colt Morton could vie to be Josh Bard's backup in the near future.
A fifth-round pick by the Marlins out of high school, Hundley went three rounds earlier in 2005 after establishing himself as one of college baseball's best all-around catchers. His father Tim is the defensive coordinator for Texas-El Paso's football team. After a slow start in low Class A last year, Nick hit .410 with seven homers in June to earn a promotion. Hundley has sound strike-zone discipline and uses the entire field. He has some strength and power, and should hit enough to profile as an everyday catcher. He has a chance to be the total package as a receiver, with good hands and a strong, accurate arm. He consistently gets the ball to second base in an above-average 1.9 seconds. Hundley frequently tries to make the exchange from mitt to hand too quickly, resulting in throws without carry because his legs aren't underneath him. Nevertheless, he threw out 36 percent of basestealers in 2006. His receiving and blocking skills are inconsistent and would benefit if he added flexibility. He's a below-average runner but good for a catcher. The Padres want to keep him and Colt Morton on different teams so they each can catch full time, so Hundley could return to high Class A to open 2007.
Hundley was a fifth-round pick by the Marlins out of high school, and he did little to improve his draft stock until his junior year at Arizona, where he led the Wildcats in home runs (15) and walks (42). His father Tim is the defensive coordinator for Texas-El Paso's football team. Hundley is a strong, powerful hitter with natural loft in his swing, and he also has good pitch recognition. Behind the plate, he has above-average agility and arm strength. He consistently puts his throws on the bag and threw out 35 percent of basestealers in his pro debut. Hundley is a dead-pull hitter with a power-only approach not conducive to hitting for a high average. Normally fundamentally sound, he often came out of his crouch too early during his pro debut and struggled to block balls. More advanced than 2004 third-round pick, catcher Billy Killian, Hundley will be tested in his first full season with an assignment to high Class A. If he polishes his receiving and blocking skills, he could reach San Diego in two-three years.
Minor League Top Prospects
Hundley rated right with Teagarden as a catching prospect. A plus arm and quick transfer helped Hundley throw out 37 percent of basestealers before earning a promotion to the low Class A Midwest League. His power potential intrigued, especially because of how easily his hands work in his swing, though the length in his stroke means he'll hit for more power than average. "People talk about Teagarden, but I like Hundley better," said Salem-Keizer manager Steve Decker, a former big league catcher. "Teagarden is more polished, but Hundley's got more athleticism, speed, bat speed and arm strength. If he gets with catching instructor he could be better than Teagarden, but he's not a polished defender right now."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Catcher in the Texas League in 2007
- Rated Best Defensive Catcher in the San Diego Padres in 2006