April 9, 2014
The 2014 Minor League Baseball season is underway, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats opened up their season on the road Thursday night in Trenton, New Jersey. The 51 degree temperature in Trenton may have had some of the players bundled in coats, vests, and winter hats, but for Kevin Nolan, the cold weather made him feel right at home.
“It’s pretty cold outside right now,” said Nolan, who grew accustomed to the beautiful Florida weather during Spring Training. “It’s great to be back.”
Nolan, 26, grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire and his name is well-known across the state. In his senior year at Nashua High School South, he was recognized as Gatorade’s New Hampshire Baseball Player of the Year. After his graduation in 2006, he moved on to Winthrop University, where he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays (20th round of Amateur Draft) during his junior year.
He started his climb through the Blue Jays organization in Lansing back in 2010. He moved on to play with Dunedin in 2012, and played in 120 games with the Fisher Cats in 2013. At the end of last season, Nolan was proud of his performance, as he racked up 118 hits, 60 RBI, and carried an average .262.
“I grew up here and have a lot of memories here,” said Nolan. “I am biased to New Hampshire. It is nice to play in front of my family and some friends.”
So far in his career, Nolan has been named as an all-star three times (once in the Eastern League and twice in the Florida State League). Nolan has not seen any time in the Major Leagues yet. He spent some of his spring playing with the Blue Jays at their camp and was able to showcase his talents in front of some of his possible future teammates. Another person he got to play in front of for the first time was Fisher Cats manager Bobby Meacham.
“I’m very, very impressed,” said Meacham. “He’s a natural shortstop, he makes tough plays look easy.”
After arriving in Manchester last weekend, Kevin Nolan took some time to talk with JaysProspects while the team waited for their bags to be unloaded from the plane.
“We have a great group of guys this year and everyone is getting along,” said Nolan. “Right now, we are excited. We have a lot of great baseball players and we are anxious to get the season going.”
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats kicked off their season in New Jersey on Thursday with a 6-0 victory. After three more games with the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees AA affiliate), the team will travel to Pennsylvania for three games against the Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies AA affiliate). The Fisher Cats home opener will be on Thursday, April 10 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium against the Binghamton Mets. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.