Scouting Report: Nathan Mikolas

The Yankees selected outfielder Nathan Mikolas in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Bradford High School in Wisconsin. He struggled a little bit in his first taste of professional baseball with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2012 but began to make some marked improvements in his first full season this year.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Nathan Mikolas
Position: Outfield
DOB: December 30, 1993
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

He hit just .149 in a 31-game trial with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in his debut season, striking out 35 times and slugging under .200 last year, but rebounded nicely in his first full season this year, hitting a respectable .256 with 18 extra-base hits in 56 games with GCL Yankees2.

"Overall I think it was a solid season," he said. "The number one thing was I showed improvement from the year before and improvement is key. I just want to grow from here, have a good offseason, and I'm looking forward to next season."

As is the case with most first-year pros, especially those coming out of high school, Mikolas had to shed the deer in the headlights look from his rookie campaign and begin to grow his confidence.

"Oh yeah, definitely," he insisted. "I felt like in the beginning of the year and especially in my first year I felt really timid. We worked a lot with Mario [Garza] and our hitting coach 'Gonzo' [Edwar Gonzalez] on just playing all out and not playing scared.

"When I just learned how to open up and be myself, and it really happened during Extended [Spring Training], I felt like I could become more of a player that I wanted to be instead of trying to do everything so perfectly. When I learned to get more confidence and believe in myself the summer went a lot better then."

As overmatched as he appeared to be in his debut season, Mikolas looked like a completely different player in 2013. As huge as the mental growth was, however, so were his physical adjustments.

"I felt great," he said of his new physique. "I think I had the wrong mentality last offseason. I really didn't know how to train. It was my first offseason and I wanted to work hard going into Spring Training. For me being young I thought I had to lift a lot of weights and bulk up.

"I was at 215 pounds and I went into Spring Training with more body fat than I wanted to, and over the course of the year I really slimmed down and I dropped down to 195. Even though I weighed a lot less I felt a lot more athletic and I felt quicker."

Tabbed more of a hitter-only type of player at draft time, Mikolas was anything but that in his first full season. He was stealing bases and playing some solid outfield defense, and looked very good in most phases of the game.

This year was more about getting his confidence up and now that has done that, now that has gotten that proverbial foundation underneath him, Mikolas, a pronounced pull-hitter, is better equipped to make further changes to his game going forward, specifically using the whole field more.

"I'm young, it was my first full season, so how the season finished up, I was happy even though I did pull the ball [a lot]," he admitted. "This offseason I've really been working hard on going left-center and working on my approach of staying left field, left-center, and not getting so pull happy. I'm definitely focusing on it and hopefully it will be better next season."

Mikolas has begun to take pride in becoming a more complete player and not just the hit-only and more to the point the slugger-only kind of player he was reputed to be back in high school. .

"What I'm really working hard this offseason is my speed," he revealed. "Like I said earlier, last offseason I spent lifting and getting physically stronger but this offseason I'm focusing on speed and I want to work on my first three steps and be explosive, maybe even try to steal some more bases this year and try to be more of an all-around player."

Seeing significant improvements in his entire game in one short season, as good as Mikolas was in 2013 he can't help but think he is just starting to scratch the surface of the kind of player he wants to be down the road.

"You can always improve. I've been doing a lot of video work on my swing this offseason. I've improved from my first season and after watching my videos I feel like 'how did I get away with all of that stuff still' so I feel like I can still improve drastically. I'm excited for the new year and I'm looking forward to it," he concluded.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2013 GCL Yankees2 .256 195 12 5 35 27 6 25 50 .355 .405
2012 GCL Yankees .149 87 0 1 5 7 1 12 35 .295 .184


Batting and Power. Two aspects of Mikolas' game are very much evident; he has tremendous natural power to all fields, especially to the pull-side where it has plus potential, but he is pronounced pull-hitter overall. In fact he is one of the few rookie level hitters to already get the over-dramatic infield shift when he steps to plate. It's not as if he doesn't have the ability to go to the opposite field, he does, but it isn't a consistent part of his game yet. He shows good patience at the plate and solid pitch recognition, but he can strike out a bit when he tries to do much at the plate.

Base Running and Speed. Mikolas went from a lumbering station to station runner in his debut season to more of an actual base running threat in one short year. An average runner overall, perhaps a tick below average, he is a smart base runner who is solid at taking the extra base and he will even swipe a few bags when teams underestimate his okay speed. He won't hurt a team in the running game and that is real progress from where he started.

Defense. Viewed as more of an eventual designated hitter type coming out of high school, Mikolas has turned himself into an admirable defender in left field through hard work and conditioning. He won't ever be a game-changer defensively but he could be an average left fielder type as long as he keeps working at his trade.

Projection. With plus pull-side power and above average power potential to all other fields, Mikolas has heart of the order type of power potential and that is a bit of a rarity at the lower minor league levels. While he shows solid patience and pitch recognition, and an ability to make adjustments, he will have to use the whole field more and not be so pull-happy to tap that kind of potential down the road. A bit more of a 'take what they give me' approach is what's needed offensively, and defensively he just needs to stay on top of his conditioning to become a Matt Joyce kind of big leaguer. There's a lot of potential here but also a lot of work to be done going forward.

ETA. N/A. The smart bet has Mikolas being a mainstay in the Staten Island lineup in 2014 but there is an outside chance that he could break camp with the Charleston RiverDogs with another strong offseason and subsequent Spring Training showing since the Yankees aren't exactly stacked with lower-level outfield prospects right now, especially left-handed hitting ones.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Nathan Mikolas
\r\nPosition: Outfield
\r\nDOB: December 30, 1993
\r\nHeight: 6'0\"
\r\nWeight: 195
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\n
\r\nHe hit just .149 in a 31-game trial with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in his debut season, striking out 35 times and slugging under .200 last year, but rebounded nicely in his first full season this year, hitting a respectable .256 with 18 extra-base hits in 56 games with GCL Yankees2.
\r\n
\r\n\"Overall I think it was a solid season,\" he said. \"The number one thing was I showed improvement from the year before and improvement is key. I just want to grow from here, have a good offseason, and I'm looking forward to next season.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs is the case with most first-year pros, especially those coming out of high school, Mikolas had to shed the deer in the headlights look from his rookie campaign and begin to grow his confidence.
\r\n
\r\n\"Oh yeah, definitely,\" he insisted. \"I felt like in the beginning of the year and especially in my first year I felt really timid. We worked a lot with Mario [Garza] and our hitting coach 'Gonzo' [Edwar Gonzalez] on just playing all out and not playing scared.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I just learned how to open up and be myself, and it really happened during Extended [Spring Training], I felt like I could become more of a player that I wanted to be instead of trying to do everything so perfectly. When I learned to get more confidence and believe in myself the summer went a lot better then.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs overmatched as he appeared to be in his debut season, Mikolas looked like a completely different player in 2013. As huge as the mental growth was, however, so were his physical adjustments.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt great,\" he said of his new physique. \"I think I had the wrong mentality last offseason. I really didn't know how to train. It was my first offseason and I wanted to work hard going into Spring Training. For me being young I thought I had to lift a lot of weights and bulk up.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was at 215 pounds and I went into Spring Training with more body fat than I wanted to, and over the course of the year I really slimmed down and I dropped down to 195. Even though I weighed a lot less I felt a lot more athletic and I felt quicker.\"
\r\n
\r\nTabbed more of a hitter-only type of player at draft time, Mikolas was anything but that in his first full season. He was stealing bases and playing some solid outfield defense, and looked very good in most phases of the game.
\r\n
\r\nThis year was more about getting his confidence up and now that has done that, now that has gotten that proverbial foundation underneath him, Mikolas, a pronounced pull-hitter, is better equipped to make further changes to his game going forward, specifically using the whole field more.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm young, it was my first full season, so how the season finished up, I was happy even though I did pull the ball [a lot],\" he admitted. \"This offseason I've really been working hard on going left-center and working on my approach of staying left field, left-center, and not getting so pull happy. I'm definitely focusing on it and hopefully it will be better next season.\"
\r\n
\r\nMikolas has begun to take pride in becoming a more complete player and not just the hit-only and more to the point the slugger-only kind of player he was reputed to be back in high school. .
\r\n
\r\n\"What I'm really working hard this offseason is my speed,\" he revealed. \"Like I said earlier, last offseason I spent lifting and getting physically stronger but this offseason I'm focusing on speed and I want to work on my first three steps and be explosive, maybe even try to steal some more bases this year and try to be more of an all-around player.\"
\r\n
\r\nSeeing significant improvements in his entire game in one short season, as good as Mikolas was in 2013 he can't help but think he is just starting to scratch the surface of the kind of player he wants to be down the road.
\r\n
\r\n\"You can always improve. I've been doing a lot of video work on my swing this offseason. I've improved from my first season and after watching my videos I feel like 'how did I get away with all of that stuff still' so I feel like I can still improve drastically. I'm excited for the new year and I'm looking forward to it,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

Team

\r\n

AVG

\r\n

AB

\r\n

2B

\r\n

HR

\r\n

RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

SB

\r\n

BB

\r\n

SO

\r\n

OBP

\r\n

SLG

\r\n 2013\r\n GCL Yankees2\r\n .256\r\n 195\r\n 12\r\n 5\r\n 35\r\n 27\r\n 6\r\n 25\r\n 50\r\n .355\r\n .405
\r\n 2012\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .149\r\n 87\r\n 0\r\n 1\r\n 5\r\n 7\r\n 1\r\n 12\r\n 35\r\n .295\r\n .184

\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Two aspects of Mikolas' game are very much evident; he has tremendous natural power to all fields, especially to the pull-side where it has plus potential, but he is pronounced pull-hitter overall. In fact he is one of the few rookie level hitters to already get the over-dramatic infield shift when he steps to plate. It's not as if he doesn't have the ability to go to the opposite field, he does, but it isn't a consistent part of his game yet. He shows good patience at the plate and solid pitch recognition, but he can strike out a bit when he tries to do much at the plate.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Mikolas went from a lumbering station to station runner in his debut season to more of an actual base running threat in one short year. An average runner overall, perhaps a tick below average, he is a smart base runner who is solid at taking the extra base and he will even swipe a few bags when teams underestimate his okay speed. He won't hurt a team in the running game and that is real progress from where he started.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Viewed as more of an eventual designated hitter type coming out of high school, Mikolas has turned himself into an admirable defender in left field through hard work and conditioning. He won't ever be a game-changer defensively but he could be an average left fielder type as long as he keeps working at his trade.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. With plus pull-side power and above average power potential to all other fields, Mikolas has heart of the order type of power potential and that is a bit of a rarity at the lower minor league levels. While he shows solid patience and pitch recognition, and an ability to make adjustments, he will have to use the whole field more and not be so pull-happy to tap that kind of potential down the road. A bit more of a 'take what they give me' approach is what's needed offensively, and defensively he just needs to stay on top of his conditioning to become a Matt Joyce kind of big leaguer. There's a lot of potential here but also a lot of work to be done going forward.
\r\n
\r\nETA. N/A. The smart bet has Mikolas being a mainstay in the Staten Island lineup in 2014 but there is an outside chance that he could break camp with the Charleston RiverDogs with another strong offseason and subsequent Spring Training showing since the Yankees aren't exactly stacked with lower-level outfield prospects right now, especially left-handed hitting ones.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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