When the 2022 season began for Nick Northcut he was entering his 5th season as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization after being selected in the 11th round out of high school in 2018’s Major League Baseball draft.
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After a strong season in 2021 with Low-A Salem, the Red Sox sent Nick Northcut up a level to begin 2022 with High-A Greenville (not to be confused with Greeneville, who used to be a Reds rookie-level affiliate). Northcut would go 2-13 over the first three games of the season but then turned things up over the following two weeks as he went 12-40 (.300) with six home runs.
On April 26th he would homer twice, and that started a stretch of 12 games in which he homered nine times. The power was huge in this stretch, he he also struck out 24 times with just one walk in 47 trips the plate. While the home run pace slowed down, Northcut continued to hit over the two weeks that followed. But then he went into a big slump from May 25th through June 8th, going 4-49 (.082) with two walks and 20 strikeouts.
He broke out of that slump on June 9th with a double and a walk and then followed up with a 3-homer, 8-RBI game. That led to a strong stretch through the rest of June that saw him post a 1.044 OPS with nine walks and 23 strikeouts to go with 10 extra-base hits in 17 games. When the calendar flipped to July his bat cooled off, hitting just .200 with three walks and 18 strikeouts (but four home runs) in the first 23 days of the month. Despite the struggles at the time he was promoted to Double-A Portland after hitting 26 home runs in 77 games with Greenville.
There were four games left in the month after he joined Portland and he went 3-17 with two home runs. It was nearly four weeks later until he would homer again, picking up two of them in the final week of August to give him 30 for the season. After finishing August on a strong note he slumped over the final two weeks of the season, hitting just .087 in six games for the Sea Dogs.
For all 2022 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Nick Northcut Scouting Report
Position: 3B/1B | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 206 lbs | Acquired: Trade (Red Sox, August 2022)
Born: June 13, 1999
Hitting | He shows a well below-average hit tool.
Power | He has above-average power and plus raw power.
Speed | He’s a below-average runner.
Defense | He shows below-average defense.
Arm | He shows an above-average arm.
Powerful is one way you could describe Nick Northcut’s strengths. When he hits the ball he can hit it very hard and very far. He’s got a very strong arm. Those two things stand out when you watch him play.
But there are some downsides to his game, too. The biggest one being the fact that he struggles to make contact and often makes poor contact. During the 2022 season he struck out in 35.3% of his plate appearances and walked in just 5.8% of them. His approach and pitch recognition are both still in need of big improvements. Without them he will struggle to hit enough to get to the big leagues or tap into his power against more advanced pitching.
Defensively he’s got the arm strength to play third base, but there are some accuracy issues he’s had to work through as a professional. His hands aren’t great, either, leading many to believe that he’ll eventually wind up at first base.
Nick Northcut Spray Chart
Interesting Stat on Nick Northcut
In games played between Monday and Friday, Northcut hit .271/.323/.595. In games played on Saturday and Sunday he hit .133/.198/.320. He walked more (6.4% to 4.9%), struck out less (34.6% to 36.4%) and hit for more power (324 IsoP to 187 IsoP) during the weekday games. His BABIP difference was also enormous – posting a .333 mark during the week and just a .155 mark during the weekend.