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July 12, 2021 at 3:17 PM

Red Sox select Nathan Hickey with fifth-round pick



With its fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Boston has selected Nathan Hickey, a catcher out of the University of Florida. He is ranked #132 by Baseball America, #141 by MLB Pipeline, and #84 by Perfect Game USA.

Hickey, a draft-eligible sophomore, went undrafted out of Providence High School in Jacksonville, Fla. He joined second-round pick Jud Fabian in Gainesville and went on a tear to start the 2020 season, hitting .311/.439/.622 in that abbreviated campaign. He continued to mash upon his return to campus, hitting .317/.435/.522 in 2021 with 15 doubles, nine homers, 42 walks, and just 40 strikeouts. 

A left-handed batter, Hickey's bat is considered ahead of his glove, with "easy plus raw power" according to Baseball America with a selective approach and an uppercut swing. Improved training helped Hickey lose 20 to 25 pounds upon his arrival to Florida, enabling him to become a key cog in the Gators lineup. His defense is a work in progress, with some scouts doubting his ability to stick behind the plate long-term. Per MLB Pipeline, he has prototypical arm strength but currently lacks "the agility or the hands to deal with high-octane pitching."

This marks the second time in 10 years the Red Sox have turned to the University of Florida twice in the top five rounds. They selected pitchers Brian Johnson and Austin Maddox from the Gators program in 2012. 

Photo Credit: Nathan Hickey from University of Florida Gators baseball