Friday, January 21, 2005

Sickels on Nickeas 

In his mailbag column today, John Sickels fields an inquiry on the Rangers' 2004 5th rounder, Mike Nickeas.

Nickeas, a catcher out of Georgia Tech, turned some heads playing in Spokane last season, where his bat performed much better than expectations. He's got an invite to the major league camp this spring, albeit probably primarily because teams needs lots of catchers early in the spring to work with the pitchers. But Sickels has praise for his defensive skills, and while he notes that some question whether he can hit the breaking ball at higher levels, he goes so far as to say that Nickeas could be one of the best catching prospects in the game a year from now.

Also, Sickels announces that his last column for ESPN will be on February 1. I'd heard some rumors that he was being moved out, but this is the official confirmation.

Not too surprising, unfortunately...ESPN apparently can't have good writers like Sickels clogging up their website when they need room for John Kruk and Buster Olney...

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