EVERY WEEKDAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR FutureBacks.com will bring you a profile of a top Diamondbacks prospect. That's more than 35 profiles coming to you in just over a month and a half. It all leads up to the FutureBacks.com Top 50, a ranking of the 50 best prospects on the Diamondback's horizon. Today  Managing Editor James Renwick swings away with first base prospect Kyle Nichols.

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Top 50 Prospect Profile: Kyle Nichols

Top 50 Prospect Profile:  Kyle Nichols

<p><b><span style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #0099ff">EVERY WEEKDAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR</span></b> FutureBacks.com will bring you a profile of a top Diamondbacks prospect. That's more than 35 profiles coming to you in just over a month and a half. It all leads up to the FutureBacks.com Top 50, a ranking of the 50 best prospects on the Diamondback's horizon. Today&nbsp; Managing Editor James Renwick swings away with first base prospect Kyle Nichols.</p>

Vital Statistics:

Name Kyle Nichols
Position First Base
Age 26
Height 6'2"
Weight 225
Bats Right
Throws Right
'04 Club AA El Paso Diablos ( Texas League)/AAA Tucson Sidewinders (Pacific Coast League)

Nichols was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Erskine College in South Carolina in 2001.  A big bat he broke records for RBIs, hits, and walks at Erskine, where he played for his brother, Manager Kevin.  Many have suggested that when Nichols finally makes the bigs, it will be for an American League team as a DH.

Batting and Power:  At El Paso in 2004 Nichols crushed the ball, hitting 14 homers in just 167 at bats and though his power numbers went down after his mid season promotion to Tucson he continued to be a solid run producer and is still is one of the best options for right handed power in the Diamondbacks system.  His strikeout totals have been a sore spot though, and the Diamondbacks have worked consistently with Nichols on contact, especially with breaking pitches.

'04 Clubs Avg. HR RBI At Bats K/BB
AA El Paso (Texas League) .293 14 39 167 64/26
AAA Tucson (Pacific Coast League) .292 7 35 144 43/21

Baserunning and Speed:  Nichols is a below average runner who is cautious on the base paths. 

Defense:  Nichols make the routine plays, but his range has been suspect, though he does pick errant throws well.  Many scouts to project Nichols as a DH, which would require a trade to an American League team.

ETA:  With the Diamondbacks unlikely to sign Richie Sexson Nichols stock has risen, and he may get a chance to move up to the big club.  His name has also been linked to trades involving Randy Johnson and the Anaheim Angels which might increase his chances of seeing playing time in the big leagues in 2005.  If he stays with the Diamondbacks, he would be a likely candidate for a September '05 call up. 

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