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Mitch Nilsson

From BR Bullpen

Mitchell Caine Nilsson

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Mitch Nilsson is an Australian baseball player who was a catcher in the Cleveland Indians organization.[1][2] and has played infield for the Australian national team. He is the son of Gary Nilsson, cousin of Jay Nilsson and nephew of Bob Nilsson and former All-Star Dave Nilsson.

He has played with the Australia schoolboy team,[3] Australia AAA team, AA team twice[4] and single A (Cal Ripken team).[5] He played in the 2008 World Junior Championship. [6] That year, he was signed by Indians scout Peter Gahan. [7]

He hit .262/.331/.341 in the 2009 MLB Australian Academy Program. [8] He was just 10 for 60 with 8 walks, 3 doubles and 17 strikeouts in the 2010 Claxton Shield. [9] In the 2010 MLBAAP, he remained steady at .264/.357/.349 with 7 steals in 9 tries. [10] In the 2010-2011 Australian Baseball League, he hit only .176/.295/.311 for the Brisbane Bandits, splitting catching with Joel Naughton and Ryan Battaglia. [11]

In 2011, he made his minor league debut, going 0 for 2 with a walk for the AZL Indians on July 1 as the DH against the AZL Reds. [12] He hit .358/.419/.507 in 74 plate appearances that summer, mostly playing DH. He batted .200/.308/.333 for Brisbane in the 2011-2012 ABL, as third-string catcher behind Ayatsugu Yamashita and Battaglia.

As third-string first baseman for the 2012 Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Nilsson hit .197/.254/.258 with 27 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. He was 1 for 3 in the 2012-2013 ABL and missed the summer of 2013 with a shoulder injury. [13] He returned to Brisbane briefly that summer, going 0 for 4 with two whiffs. The Indians let him go in March 2014. [14]

Moving to a utility infielder role, Nilsson hit .185/.239/.277 for the Bandits in the 2014-2015 ABL. He signed with Kotlarka Praha in the Czech Extraliga for 2015 and had a big year, hitting .408/.463/.980 with 14 homers, 31 runs and 39 RBI in 24 games, while fielding .928. [15] He tied for 5th in the league in doubles (12), was 4th in home runs (one behind Jakub Sládek, Matěj Hejma and fellow Australian Corey Lyon), ranked 9th in RBI, placed 9th in OBP (between Jiří Marek and Jan Pojer), tied Martin Schneider for 4th in average and led in slugging (.076 over Hejma). He came up big in the finals; with the series tied at two in the best-of-five match-up against powerhouse Draci Brno, he hit a two-run homer off Petr Minařík in a 3-1 win. [16]

Nilsson continued his success in returning to Australia, hitting .284/.363/.480 with 9 homers and 39 RBI in 55 games for Brisbane. [17] He tied Travis Demeritte and Ryan Miller for 4th in the 2015-2016 ABL in home runs, was 5th in RBI (between Demeritte and Boss Moanaroa), tied Rhys Hoskins for 4th in total bases (98) and was 10th in slugging (between Logan Wade and David Sutherland).

He made his Australian national team debut in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in February 2016. [18] He started the opener at DH, hitting 9th against the Philippines. He grounded out against J.R. Bunda in the 2nd, fanned against Clay Rapada in the 4th and drew a walk from Austin Haynal in the 6th. Trent D'Antonio batted for him in the 7th. [19] In the finale against South Africa with a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at stake, he pinch-hit for Luke Hughes with a 9-5 lead in the bottom of the 8th, the bases loaded and two outs. He drew a walk from Kieran Cree to force in a run. He did not stay in the game in LF, as David Kandilas took over Hughes' spot in the field for the 9th. [20]