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Nicholas is a physical corner IF prospect in the 2023 class who combines athleticism (played SS until his JR year of HS) and above average hit tool with power in his bat. As well, he has been a 2-way player throughout his HS career, showing projection in his offensive and defensive profile if he focuses on being a position player only going forward. An athletic defender who has good feet and soft hands with the reaction and agility to handle 3b and with average arm strength that is continuing to improve more than enough arm to stay at 3b. He shows a hit tool that is geared to use the middle of the field with leverage and produces exit velocities consistently in the over 90 MPH range and peaks in the mid 90 mph range. His bat path will lift the ball to the pull side with home run power and has shown the ability to drive the ball out to the opposite gap giving him the potential of a true power threat at the next level. His swing is athletic with bat speed and use of his lower half to handle velocity while staying on off-speed pitches. Overall, Nicholas is a well rounded prospect who combines current performance, projection in his game and baseball IQ having played for former college coaches in his travel playing experience.
01/07/2022 - 2022 Baseball Factory Pre-Season All-America Tournament (AZ)
Nicholas continues to show improvements in his baseball abilities at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament. Foot speed has improved as he ran his best 60 time to date, now a 7.25 runner. At the plate, hitting / power potential is now outstanding as he has strong/centered balance with fluid rhythm to load. He takes an absolute hack - crushing the ball to the deep parts of the park (exit velocity = 90 mph). At 3B, defensive abilities are outstanding as he displays smooth / fluid actions. He has plus lateral range, working from the ground-up with smooth actions. Transfer is quick as he fires strong throws zipping (81 mph velocity) across the diamond. On the mound, arm strength has improved as he threw his top velocity to date at 78 mph. Breaking ball displays 11/5 shape with gradual break. He maintains arm speed on his changeup with sinking action. Control is well above average as he attacks hitters and throws strikes with all his pitches. Stock on the mound will continue to rise as he builds more arm strength through a long toss program. Nicholas is a prospect and will get looks from the collegiate coaches with his baseball abilities.
09/26/2021 - All-In Membership - Union City, CA
Nicholas continues to show improvements in his baseball abilities on the diamond. At the plate, hitting abilities are now well above average with outstanding power potential through an open setup. Hands are quick (83 mph exit velocity) as he squares the ball up consistently driving it on a line. At 3B, he takes a quick first step and has plus lateral range. He creates angles around the GB with fluid actions. Throws are accurate with zip (82 mph velocity) on his throws across the diamond. On the mound, arm strength has improved as he threw his top velocity to date at 77 mph. Breaking ball displays 11/5 shape with gradual break. He maintains arm speed on his changeup with arm side run. Control is solid as he throws strikes with all his pitches. Stock on the mound will continue to rise as he builds more arm strength through a long toss program.
10/17/2020 - Fall Pro Training Experience - Nor Cal (HS)
This 2023 grad impressed the Factory coaching staff with his ability to flash his leather up the middle. He's always ready, shows plus agility, soft hands and a quick exchange from glove to hand. He supplements his overall defensive ability with quick twitch movements and is already running a 7.27 in the 60 yard dash. At the plate, he shows comfort and makes consistent hard contact. On the bump, Bender touched 77mph with solid tailing action on his fastball. His 11/5 curveball showed decent break with above-average command. His change-up sat 63-65 with late run. Overall, Bender has improved quite a bit in the last 11 months since our last viewing. He has special athleticism that makes him a projectable college player down the road.