Nicholas Jay Rickles
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.
Nick Rickles has been a minor league catcher.
Rickles hit .512 with a .869 slugging as a high school senior and threw out 80% of attempted base-stealers. In 2009, he hit .296/.335/.422 with 40 RBI in 57 games as a college freshman. His offensive production fell a bit in 2010 (.280/.318/.400) but he fielded .997. In 2011, he hit .347/.408/.600 with 12 homers and 62 RBI in 63 games, with 7 pick-offs. He only struck out 10 times in 245 at-bats. He was the 7th-hardest batter to fan in NCAA Division I (in terms of AB/K) and tied for 33rd in Division I in RBI. He made All-Atlantic Sun Conference at catcher. Baseball America picked him second-team All-American behind Mike Zunino.
The Oakland Athletics took him in the 14th round of the 2011 amateur draft. The scout was Trevor Schaffer. He split the summer between the Vermont Lake Monsters (.310/.364/.441, 33 RBI in 41 G) and AZL Athletics (7 for 25, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 BB). In 2012, he hit only .220/.257/.328 for the Burlington Bees, though he threw out 43% of attempted base-stealers.
With the Israeli national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers (along with fellow 2011 A's draftee Max Perlman), he played one inning as a defensive sub for starter Charlie Cutler and did not bat. He spent most of the summer with the Beloit Snappers (.258/.289/.389 in 81 G( and was 2 for 4 in one game for the Midland RockHounds. He had shoulder surgery and missed all of 2014.
Returning to action in 2015, Rickles struggled with the Stockton Ports (.227/.231/.359 in 34 G), Midland (.208/.235/.286 in 23 G) and the Nashville Sounds (1 for 7). Released by Oakland, he was picked up by the Washington Nationals and split 2016 between the Harrisburg Senators (.227/.250/.398 in 24 G) and Syracuse Chiefs (1 for 4). He was back with Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers but they now had major league veteran Ryan Lavarnway at catcher. Rickles thus got into only one game, starting at DH in the opener against Great Britain and hitting a surprising cleanup for a lineup with MLB veterans Lavarnway, Cody Decker, Nate Freiman and Josh Satin starting. He flew out in the first against Michael Roth, singled off Roth in the 4th and fanned in the 6th (also versus Roth). Ike Davis batted for him in the 7th. Israel wound up winning the pool to get into the 2017 World Baseball Classic, their first World Baseball Classic.