JACOB Andrew NOTTINGHAM
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   C
Home: N/A Team:   NORFOLK
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   R
Weight: 230 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/3/1995 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 26  
Birth City: Redlands, CA
Draft: Astros #6 - 2013 - Out of high school (CA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2013 GCL GCL-Astros   44 146 23 36 10 2 1 20 4 2 21 38 .347 .363 .247
2014 APP GREENEVILLE   48 174 25 40 10 1 5 28 3 2 18 54 .307 .385 .230
2015 CAL STOCKTON   43 164 25 49 9 0 3 22 1 0 12 38 .352 .409 .299
2015 CAL LANCASTER   17 71 14 23 6 1 4 14 0 0 3 10 .368 .606 .324
2015 MWL QUAD CITIES   59 230 34 75 18 1 10 46 1 2 18 51 .387 .543 .326
2016 SL BILOXI   112 415 46 97 14 0 11 37 9 2 29 138 .295 .347 .234
2017 SL BILOXI   101 325 37 68 21 2 9 48 7 3 37 87 .326 .369 .209
2018 PCL COLORADO SPRINGS   50 178 33 50 10 2 10 36 2 1 14 59 .347 .528 .281
2018 NL BREWERS   9 20 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 .333 .250 .200
2019 PCL ROUND ROCK   1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 .250 .000 .000
2019 PCL SAN ANTONIO   83 290 40 67 21 0 5 40 6 1 28 95 .313 .355 .231
2019 NL BREWERS   9 6 1 2 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 2 .429 .833 .333
2020 NL BREWERS $115.00 20 48 8 9 1 9 4 13 0 0 5 20 .278 .458 .188
2021 AL MARINERS   10 26 3 3 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 12 .226 .231 .115
2021 NL BREWERS   5 14 2 3 1 0 2 4 0 0 0 8 .214 .714 .214
Personal
  • Nottingham played linebacker for the Redlands High School football team in California.

  • In 2013, Jacob's senior season at Redlands High, he committed to the University of Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship.

  • In 2013, Nottingham got drafted by the Astros (see Transactions below).
  •  Coming out of high school there were two options. He could have gone to play football at the University of Arizona, or the University of Oklahoma for baseball.

    “Me and my dad talked about it,” Nottingham said. “Just talking with him about it I just knew baseball would always be my passion. I didn’t want to play football just because of the weight they wanted me to gain, and that wasn’t going to help me in baseball. We just decided that baseball was going to be a goal of mine.”

    Football, Nottingham said, has influenced his leadership style on the field, and his toughness. There aren’t better qualities for a catcher to have than those. And he has a quick answer for how he acquired his trademark toughness:

    "I've got two older brothers," Nottingham said of siblings Michael and Billy. "I've always grown up playing with older guys. That's helped me learn the game. My brothers toughened me up a lot, but that's their job."

  • Nottingham wasn't sure what to expect when he started peppering Jonathan Lucroy with questions at Spring Training in 2016. Jacob, after all, had just arrived from the A's in a trade that provided the Brewers with their catcher of the future. Despite all of the trade rumors, Lucroy is the team's catcher of the present.

    Nottingham was pleasantly surprised by the reception.

    "He's been awesome," Nottingham said. "I've been asking a lot of questions—almost probably bugging him. I'm just trying to get everything I can out of him. From the first day, 'Luc' told me, 'Ask as many questions as you can. Don't be scared.'"

    It's not just Lucroy. Backup catcher Martin Maldonado, Minor League veteran Adam Weisenburger and catching coordinator Charlie Greene all have found themselves fielding questions from the talkative Nottingham, who entered MLBPipeline.com's rankings of the top Brewers prospects at No. 15. Nottingham has asked about set-up, receiving pitches and footwork.

    "He's a sponge," said Weisenburger, who is in his fourth big league camp. "He's trying to come into his own and find his way. I'm trying to do the same thing myself, but it's good. We're all here to get better. If you love baseball, the conversations are part of it." (McCalvy - MLB.com - 2/23/16)

  • In 2016, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Nottingham as the 11th-best prospect in the A's organization. Then he got traded to the Brewers.

    In 2017, Jacob was #14 in the Brewers farm system. He moved up to #10 in the winter before 2019 spring training.

  • In July 2015, Nottingham was traded by the Astros to the Oakland Athletics along with pitcher Daniel Mengden for pitcher Scott Kazmir. In 2016, Nottingham was traded to the Brewers along with pitcher Bowdien Derby for outfielder Khris Davis.

  • If Nottingham continues to combine power and a decent batting average as he did prior to this past season, he can carve out a nice career as a catcher. In his history as a professional, he has shown an ability to equally hit both left-handed and right-handed pitchers. In 2015, he hit over .300 regardless of the arm side of the pitcher. During the 2016 season, his average dipped to between .231 (versus right-handers) and .244 (against lefties). It was a dramatic decline in batting average regardless of the arm side of the pitcher on the mound.

    Nottingham has work to do as a receiver. His overall mechanics still need refinement. He is well aware that he has to play good defense to be a viable starting catcher at the major league level. He has a strong and accurate enough arm behind the plate. His issues relate mostly to his agility, or lack thereof. He has to improve his footwork, his quickness and his flow as a catcher.

    In his career as a catcher, Nottingham has thrown out 32 percent of runners trying to steal. That’s a solid statistic. This past season at Biloxi, the number declined to 29 percent. Well aware of the need to improve, Nottingham told me former Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy was very helpful with him. He indicated he wants to improve his overall game management and handling of pitchers as well as his physical mechanics as a catcher.

    The other liability for Nottingham is his total lack of speed. He lumbers around the bases and he could easily be classified as a base-clogger. He did, however, steal nine bases in eleven attempts this past season. That was the most he has ever stolen in his career. Without seeing the actual games, it is difficult to determine the circumstances of those stolen bases.

  • Nottingham played both football and baseball in high school. He was an outstanding outside linebacker on the football team. He was offered a scholarship to play both sports at the University of Arizona, but he decided to play professional baseball instead. His decision was based partly on the fact he suffered a knee injury playing football in his junior year in high school. He returned from that injury in five months, but he made the decision that baseball offered a better future.

    Jacob is well aware that he must improve overall as a catcher. He is working hard and he wants to gain as much experience as possible to move his defense along. He has also played first base in his career. (Bernie Pleskoff - October 17, 2016) 

    ALS IN FAMILY

  • Dec. 23, 2017:  A player’s career is temporary, but their legacy can stretch on forever. And above all that, that inspiration can be permanent, just like a tattoo of Lou Gehrig.

    Brewers minor league player Jacob Nottingham shared a photo on Twitter of his incredible tattoo that he got in honor of his aunt and grandmother who lost their battles with Lou Gehrig‘s disease. Nottingham went all-out and it looks absolutely amazing. While ALS has affected his life, it seems that Lou Gehrig has been an inspiration to the young prospect, despite delivering his famous speech decades before Nottingham was born.

    Nottingham’s tribute to his aunt, his grandmother and Gehrig himself is absolutely stunning. That work of art on his arm will be something that will honor his loved ones in the best way possible. (Allison Case-ESNY)

  • March 9, 2018: Brewers catching prospect Jacob Nottingham wanted his latest tattoo to make his father proud, and he found inspiration in family tragedy. Nottingham reported to camp this year with new art on his left shoulder, a portrait of Lou Gehrig looking down upon his grandmother, Nancy Nottingham, and aunt, Laurie Nottingham. Both women died from the disease that took Gehrig, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS.

    The artist was Wes Hogan of Artistic Element in Yucaipa, Calif. Nottingham got the tattoo in January 2017 and surprised his dad before reporting to Spring Training. Dad teared up when he saw it.

    "It was special for my dad," Jacob Nottingham said. "He lost his mom at a very young age, and he lost his sister. I have two older brothers and we look up to my dad a lot. It's special because our family is so into sports."

    Nottingham was a freshman in high school when the disease took his Aunt Laurie, and was moved to meet others affected by the disease two summers ago when the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers hosted an ALS awareness night at the ballpark. That experience has stuck with him.

    "I feel like I'm part of that family," he said. (A McCalvy - MLB.com - March 9, 2018).

  • March 8, 2018: Nottingham was among the 11 players, mostly prospects, cut from big league camp. The move was expected; Brewers Minor League position players formally reported for the start of their own Spring Training earlier in the day, and it's time for Nottingham to prepare for his sixth season in the Minors, and third since a trade brought him over from Oakland's system. Nottingham has already logged two full seasons at the Double-A level before his 23rd birthday. He has not hit much since the trade. But he has answered the other big question that tends to dog a 6-foot-2 catcher.

    "When we got him, the project of catching, frankly, we weren't sure. He was a big guy, 20 years old, and it was, 'This is going to be a really big man. Is he going to be able to catch?'" said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "Now, when I see him catch, I credit the work that our catching instructors have done. He looks so good receiving a baseball. He's made so much progress."

    Said Brewers catching coordinator Charlie Greene: "It's about getting low, getting underneath the ball. Get his eyes below the ball. I think he's not as muscle-bound this year, but his arm still looks great. He's freer this year, more flexible."

    That was by design, according to Nottingham, who reported to camp 12-15 pounds lighter, after working all winter on flexibility. He's feeling quicker on his feet.

    "It's a good feeling that it shows, and everything is coming together," Nottingham said. "Now you have to keep going. Stick to what I've been doing and learn from the older guys." (A McCalvy - MLB.com - March 9, 2018)

  • Feb 4, 2019: Before reporting to his fourth Spring Training in the Brewers' system, Jacob Nottingham visited his baseball roots. The 23-year-old was home at Redlands High School in Southern California, where he became the first player from the school to have his uniform number retired in baseball. Nottingham starred in baseball and football for the Terriers, and was so accomplished on the football field that he was offered a scholarship to play linebacker and tight end at the University of Arizona.

    But after hitting .543 as a senior at Redlands, the Astros made Nottingham a sixth-round Draft pick in 2013 and he chose baseball. He was traded to the A's in 2015 as part of a trade for Scott Kazmir, then shipped to the Brewers just before the start of 2016 Spring Training in the trade that sent slugging outfielder Khris Davis to Oakland.

    Nottingham made his Major League debut in 2018 and will be back in camp this spring as part of a crowded catching corps. Milwaukee signed switch-hitting former All-Star Yasmani Grandal to be the primary catcher in front of Manny Pina, Erik Kratz and Nottingham.

    Nottingham is one of 15 players and coaches inducted into Redlands High School's baseball hall of fame. (A McCalvy - MLB.com - Feb 4, 2019)

  • Dec 14, 2020: “This offseason was a little crazy,” said Nottingham, who became a father with the birth of Aiden Blaise Nottingham.

  •  2020 Season: Nottingham got his first extended opportunity behind the plate, thanks in large part to a knee injury that knocked Piña out for the final month.

     In 20 games, he hit just .188 but displayed some pop with four home runs while also driving in 13 runs. More impressive was the progress Nottingham made defensively; his game calling, arm strength and general presence behind the plate earned strong reviews from not only Counsell but also Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. (Todd Rosiak and Tom Haudricourt - Feb. 26, 2021)

  • March 5, 2021: MLB just announced an initiative close to his heart.

    The league has declared June 2 “Lou Gehrig Day,” an annual, league-wide event to honor and celebrate the legacy of the Hall of Famer and to raise awareness and funds to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the awful disease that ended Gehrig’s life and informally bears his name. For Nottingham, it’s a personal cause. He lost his grandmother and aunt to ALS and has a tattoo of them on his left arm with Gehrig looking down.  “I can't wait for that day,” Nottingham said. “It's going to be a big day for people across the country who are battling ALS, and it's going to be a special day for my family as well. So I mean, I hope I'm there.”  Nottingham has work to do to get there, and on multiple fronts.

    First, he has to get healthy following surgery at the end of December to repair a torn ligament on the thumb of his catching hand, the result of receiving all of those nasty Brandon Woodruff fastballs, Corbin Burnes cutters and Justin Topa sliders -- the latter of which broke the strings of Nottingham’s catcher’s mitt not once but twice in the final week of last season. During the Brewers’ season-ending loss to the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series, Nottingham finally succumbed to pain that he had been fighting for a month. Second, he has to play his way back to the big leagues. Nottingham has had tastes of the Majors in each of the past three seasons but he’s part of a crowded Brewers catching corps this spring. He’s on a mission to make it.

  • In 2018, he reported to Spring Training with that big tattoo, the work of artist Wes Hogan of Artistic Element in Yucaipa, Calif. It depicts Gehrig over Nottingham’s grandmother, Nancy Nottingham, and aunt, Laurie Nottingham. Jacob surprised his dad with the finished product just before leaving for Phoenix.  "It was special for my dad," Jacob Nottingham said in 2018. "He lost his mom at a very young age and he lost his sister. I have two older brothers and we look up to my dad a lot. It's special because our family is so into sports."

    Nottingham was a freshman in high school when the disease took his Aunt Laurie, and he was moved to meet others affected by the disease when he played for the Brewers’ Double-A affiliate in Biloxi when the team hosted an ALS awareness night at the ballpark. That experience has stuck with him.  "I feel like I'm part of that family," he said.

    Nottingham saw progress just this week. He has been a limited participant in camp, sitting in on meetings with Brewers pitchers and catchers to stay up to speed on who is working on what, but he had not been cleared to hit until Thursday, when he took batting practice against hitting coach Andy Haines. Next week, Nottingham expects to progress on the defensive side by catching high-velocity pitches from a machine. He’s looking up at Omar Narváez and Manny Piña on the Brewers’ catching depth chart, and over the winter, the Brewers signed free agent Luke Maile. Unlike Nottingham, Maile has an option and can be shuttled between the Majors and the alternate training site or the Minor Leagues. Sometimes, out-of-options players like Nottingham are playing in Spring Training for their own teams and the 29 other clubs, some of whom could have an opening late in camp.

    “We actually talked with the trainers today about how it's going to progress and putting together a schedule,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He's had more catching problems, really, than hitting, so I think we'll be able to go a little faster with the hitting and that's actually a good thing. That's going to speed up his back-on-the-field, ready-to-go time because we are going to be able to work into more aggressive hitting progressions. It's all good news.” Of getting Nottingham ready by Opening Day, Counsell said, “I think there's still enough time. He's an example of a player that the schedule's going to get a little bit tighter, but I think there's enough time still.”

    Nottingham now has extra incentive to make it happen.

    “This offseason was a little crazy,” said Nottingham, who became a father on Dec. 14 with the birth of Aiden Blaise Nottingham, “but I just recovered, tried to get ready. I’m doing anything I can to get my body ready.” (A McCalvy - MLB.com - March 5, 2021)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2013: The Astros chose Nottingham in the 6th round, out of Redlands High School in California. He signed for $300,000, via scout Brad Budzinski. 

  • July 23, 2015: The A's sent LHP Scott Kazmir to the Astros, acquiring Nottingham and RHP Daniel Mengden.

  • February 12, 2016: The Athletics traded Nottingham and Bubba Derby to the Brewers for OF Khris Davis.

  • April 28, 2021: The Mariners claimed Jacob off waivers from the Brewers.

  • Dec. 8, 2021: The Orioles signed catcher Jacob Nottingham to a minor league deal.
  • May 2, 2021: The Mariners traded Jacob to the Brewers for cash.

  • May 20, 2021: The Mariners claimed Jacob off waivers from the Brewers.
  • Dec 1, 2021: He signed as a free agent with the Orioles.
Batting
  • Nottingham stands out because of his powerful righthanded bat. It could be above-average power if he learns to harness it. He's got some impressive bat speed. He is very strong. He grades 55 for his above-average big league power, his best rated tool. He has a 45 on his hit tool.

    Jacob's power isn’t only to his pull side, and he impresses talent evaluators with his ability to drive the ball out to right field. He hits the ball to all fields.

    He now projects as a power-hitting backup and is still young enough to emerge as more. (Spring, 2019)

  • Jacob has a balanced approach at the plate.

    "I'm working with my hitting coach [Joel Chimelis] a lot on pitch recognition and capitalizing when the pitcher makes a mistake," Nottingham said midway through the 2015 season. "I worked on hitting in the off-season and tried to simplify things and not try to do too much at the plate. I'm learning to be patient."

  • He has a feel for hitting with two strikes, when he's going well.

  • Nottingham is an extremely exciting catching prospect. Many scouts and analysts consider him further along offensively than defensively at this point in time.

    Big and strong with well-proportioned weight and strength, Nottingham has the physicality and profile of a catcher. Nottingham has power. Clearly, there are more long balls in his bat.

    Nottingham has very good bat speed and he looks comfortable at the plate. Actually, he looks much more comfortable and confident on offense than he does on defense. His swing is relatively easy and measured.

  • As of the start of the 2021 season, Jacob's career Major League stats were: .203 batting average, 5 home runs and 15 hits with 17 RBI in 74 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Jacob could become an average catcher and shows solid-average arm strength, though his throwing can be erratic. And he can also be rather stiff back there, lacking agility because he's such a big guy and 6-feet-2 and 230 pounds.

    His arm grades 55 on the-20-80 scouting scale. And his overall glove work behind the plate is a 45, which is below-average, but doable. His blocking and receiving have now become big league average.

  • "Jacob provides a big target and does a nice job receiving the baseball," Quad Cities manager Josh Bonifay said midway through the 2015 season. "He will throw his body in front of anything. He's that type of person, that type of player who will do anything he can to protect the pitcher's runs to prevent extra bases. He's come a long way.

    "Jacob's ability to lead a pitching staff, his ability to call games, his ability to get better at receiving have really improved," he added. "His hitting is going to be there. If he can solidify himself behind the plate, his future is one of the brightest you'll ever see."

  • Nottingham could also learn to play a corner outfield spot. And he worked some at first base in 2015. And that was a position he'd never played before.

    "It's fun. It's new. I'm having a good time doing it. I feel pretty good there. It's obviously a different position to try to learn. It's challenging. You have to be in different spots in different situations. You just go with the flow of the game. Playing more than one position helps any player. If you can do more than one thing, you're in the lineup more. Catching is my priority spot. But instead of a day off, or DH, I play first base."

  • Jacob improved by leaps and bounds in 2015, defensively. Some scouts say he can stay there. Others say, "He's a first baseman."

    But we think his work ethic, and strong desire to improve back there, will allow him to soften his hands and improve his agility, However, he will always be a bat-first catcher, at best.

  • Nottingham has a strong arm. In 2015, Jacob threw out 47 percent of base-thieves.

    In 2016, Jacob led the Southern League by throwing out 29 percent of base=stealers.

  • Jacob's bat will get him playing time in the Show. It is now just a matter of whether he can get his defense good enough that you can live with him behind the plate. Otherwise, he’s a first baseman. He does have the arm for a catcher, but he’s not particularly agile and has lapses in focus.

  • But Nottingham still struggles in some areas and the weaknesses of his game have already started to manifest, starting in 2015 and continuing into his first full season in Double-A — his blocking and receiving skills still need considerable development, as he allowed 19 and 21 passed balls in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

  • Nottingham has work to do as a receiver. His overall mechanics still need refinement. He is well aware that he has to play good defense to be a viable starting catcher at the major league level. He has a strong and accurate enough arm behind the plate. His issues relate mostly to his agility, or lack thereof. He has to improve his footwork, his quickness and his flow as a catcher.

  • With his size and his power, Nottingham will be given time to learn the nuances of catching and refine his footwork and mechanics to stick at the position. However, he has the size and power to be an adequate first baseman should he not be able to sustain a role as a major league quality receiver behind the plate. His lack of agility may still prevail at first base, but his overall baseball instincts and mechanics should be acceptable enough for him to be at least average on defense if the conversion to first place ever takes place.

    A big man, there is likely little remaining growth in Nottingham’s frame. He is big and strong, but not agile. He does, indeed, look like the football linebacker he was in high school. Now, however, he must transfer that physicality to the baseball diamond. He has more development and hard work ahead if he wishes to remain a catcher. Jacob looks very tentative and unsure of himself behind the plate. Clearly, he has work to do on improving his defense.

Running
Jacob has slightly below-average speed.
Career Injury Report
  • March, 2017: Nottingham had an upper biceps injury during spring camp, but was ready for the season opener with the Biloxi Shuckers (SL).

  • May 12-June 5, 2018: Jacob was on the DL.

    August 1-31, 2018: Nottingham was on the DL.

  • Feb 24, 2020: Nottingham reported to work with a swollen right hand but no broken bones. Nottingham was hit on the hand by the final pitch of a ninth-inning strikeout in the loss to the Padres and underwent X-rays, which showed no broken bones. He was to take it easy but he does not anticipate missing any meaningful time in camp.

    “Everything came back good,” Nottingham said. “No broken bones, so I’m super excited about that. Just going to do some rehab stuff today. I’m going to try do as much as I can and hopefully in the next couple of days, I’ll be back in there. “It didn’t feel good. It was one of those pitches you start recognizing halfway and you try to get out of the way."

  • Dec. 2020: Nottingham underwent offseason left thumb surgery.

    April 1-22, 2021: Jacob was on the IL with a left thumb injury.

  • April 28-May 4, 2022: Nottingham was on the IL