Saints Sign Atlantic League Player of the Year Nash
Over the last five season’s the St. Paul Saints are averaging more than 105 home runs per year, most of any American Association team during that time. They have hit more than 100 home runs in four of those five years. No other team has done it more than once. The defending American Association Champions added an impressive bat they hope will help launch them over the triple digit mark in 2020, signing the Atlantic Leagues Player of the Year, first baseman Telvin Nash.
The 28-year-old Nash put up Triple Crown type numbers in 2019 with the York Revolution, hitting .294 with a franchise record 41 home runs and 100 RBI in 137 games. In 486 at bats he scored 107 runs, crushed 35 doubles, one triple, walked 105 times, with an on base percentage of .423, slugging .623, for an otherworldly 1.050 OPS. He helped guide the Revolution to the playoffs where they lost in the Division Series three-games-to-one to the Sugar Land Skeeters. Along with being named the Player of the Year, Nash was a mid-season and post-season All-Star. His 41 long balls were tied for second most in Atlantic League history. He finished first in several offensive categories: home runs, RBI, runs, total bases (303), extra base hits (77), on base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and walks. He was tied for third in doubles, tied for fourth in hits, and sixth in average. He set the Atlantic League record for extra base hits, total bases and walks. He hit a home run in back-to-back games three times, three games in a row twice, hit two home runs in a game twice and slugged three on June 10 at home against High Point. He also reached base safely in 28 consecutive games from July 15-August 14.
Nash, who had several Division I offers to play football and was planning on going to the University of Miami, was selected in the third round of the 2009 June Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros out of Griffin (GA) High School. He was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Astros and hit .218 with a home run and 20 RBI in 40 games.
In 2010 Nash made his mark on the baseball world at the advanced Rookie level, Appalachian League, with the Greenville Astros. He hit .265 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI in 57 games. In 200 at bats he scored 30 runs, ripped 12 doubles, one triple, a .348 on base percentage, .515 slugging percentage for an .863 OPS. Nash finished in the top 10 in eight offensive categories including fourth in home runs. He was promoted to Low-A Tri-City in September and won a New York-Penn League Championship with the ValleyCats.
Nash entered the 2011 season as the “Astros Top Power Hitting Prospect” according to Baseball America and spent most of the year at Single-A Lexington where, despite missing two months because of a broken hamate bone, hit .269 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 73 games. In 268 at bats he scored 41 runs, smashed 16 doubles, had a .373 on base percentage, .485 slugging percentage for an .858 OPS. He had his first career three homer game on April 17 when he collected five hits.
Entering the 2012 season as the Astros #10 ranked prospect, Nash spent the entire season at High-A Lancaster where he hit .224 with 29 home runs and 75 RBI in 106 games. In 393 at bats he scored 61 runs, clubbed 19 doubles, had a .316 on base percentage, a .494 slugging percentage for an .810 OPS. Nash homered in back-to-back games four times and had two, two-homer games. He finished second in the league in home runs and tied for sixth in all of Minor League baseball. His one home run per 13.55 at bats led the California League. He helped the JetHawks to the California League title smashing two home runs in the playoffs.
His 2013 season was cut short due to injury as Nash hit .246 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI in 62 games for Lancaster. In 228 at bats he scored 43 runs, had 10 doubles, a .357 on base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, for an. 857 OPS. His home runs once again came in bunches, hitting long balls in back-to-back games three times and hitting two homers in a game twice, including May 10 when he drove in a career high seven.
Nash did something no other player in Corpus Christi history had ever done: led the Double-A Texas League in home runs. Despite missing nearly half the season in 2014 due to various injuries, Nash hit .227 with 22 home runs and 49 RBI in just 84 games. In 273 at bats he scored 46 runs, had four doubles, a .330 on base percentage, .484 slugging percentage, for an .814 OPS. He homered in back-to-back games three times and homered in three straight from July 24-26. Nash swatted two home runs on July 5 vs. Tulsa.
Nash’s time with the Astros organization came to an end in 2015 when he hit .228 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 30 games with Corpus Christi. He was released on May 25 and three weeks later signed by the Revolution. Nash hit .270 with 13 home runs and 30 RBI in 64 games. He homered in back-to-back games once and three straight, twice.
In 2016, Nash got off to a blazing start with the Revolution hitting .275 with 15 home runs, leading the league at the time, and 28 RBI in 48 games before the Chicago White Sox organization purchased his contract. He finished the year with High-A Winston-Salem hitting .255 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 46 games. Nash hit 26 home runs in 94 games between York and Winston-Salem. While with the Dash he homered in back-to-back games three times and had two home runs on July 10.
Nash began 2017 on the restricted list before being activated on May 12 with Winston-Salem. He came out of the gate hot and after just a week with the Dash was promoted to Double-A Birmingham. After hitting .176 with a home run and two RBI in 10 games, Nash was sent back to Winston-Salem on June 10. Overall with the Dash, he hit .214 with five home runs and 13 RBI in 32 games before being released by the White Sox on July 13. He re-signed with the Revolution and hit .282 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI in 48 games. In 177 at bats he scored 30 runs, smacked eight doubles, had a .363 on base percentage, a .599 slugging percentage, for a .962 OPS. The Revolution reached the playoffs and swept the Long Island Ducks in the Championship Series as Nash hit three homers and drove in eight during the playoff run.
In 2018 Nash joined the Revolution in August and hit a gaudy .338 with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 39 games. In 136 at bats he cracked nine doubles, had a .443 on base percentage, a .618 slugging percentage, for an incredible 1.061 OPS.
His 94 home runs with the Revolution are a franchise record, 28 more than that of Andres Perez.
For his career, Nash has an .886 OPS and has homered once every 14.75 at bats. For reference, only seven Major Leaguers have a better at bat to home run ratio.
This is the fourth off-season signing for the Saints.
RHP Tanner Kiest
RHP Matt Quintana
INF Josh Allen
INF Telvin Nash
The reigning American Association Champion Saints begin the 2020 season with the banner raising ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints