PHOENIX -- As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities this month, we will be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Brewers camp, it was No. 10 prospect Jacob Nottingham. Originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round
PHOENIX -- As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities this month, we will be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Brewers camp, it was No. 10 prospect Jacob Nottingham.
Originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft, Nottingham had a breakout 2015 season, one that included being dealt from the Astros to the A's in the Scott Kazmir deal. Less than seven months later, right before pitchers and catchers reported, he was on the move again, this time to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for Khris Davis.
MLBPipeline.com: Does it help coming to a new place knowing there are several other guys from the Astros organization that are here, too?
Nottingham: That was a big thing. When I got traded, I talked to Brett Phillips right after. He kind of gave me a little rundown, a heads up about the organization. He had nothing but great things to say about them. But it means a lot to see Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, Phillips and a couple of other guys. I definitely have a better connection with them. But it was an easier transition than from the Astros to the A's.
MLB Pipeline Spring Training reports
MLBPipeline.com: You're sort of following Phillips' path, drafted in the same round a year after him, playing at the same levels a year after him, now joining the Brewers with him. How helpful has he been to you in terms of advice?
Nottingham: He's been awesome since Day 1 of Spring Training in Florida. He kind of gave me a rundown about Quad Cities and Lancaster. He always tells me that he's like my dad because I'm trying to follow his footsteps every time, kind of putting up the same numbers, in different areas. He's been awesome. He's a great friend and obviously he's a good guy to be around.
MLBPipeline.com: Getting traded once is hard enough, but getting traded twice in seven months, was it hard to deal with?
Nottingham: It was shocking. I was just starting to get adapted to the Oakland A's, how they run things. Then, all of a sudden, they told me I got traded. I thought, "It's so soon." But it was easy. There are a lot of great guys here, very friendly, very welcoming. It was easier the second time.
MLBPipeline.com: The numbers you put up when you were in Rookie ball were just kind of ordinary. Then you hit full-season ball and, at least numbers-wise, it looked like a light went off. What happened? What clicked for you?
Nottingham: I worked with Joel Chimelis, he's with the Astros, he was in low [Class] A with me. I worked with him the whole spring. I kind of just went away from mechanics and anything away from just hitting -- everything is the same, you see the ball, you hit the ball -- and I think we clicked from the start. I worked a lot with him and it was good going into the season with him, because he knew me really well. We have a good bond. To this day, I still talk to him if something's not feeling right. I think that's what clicked, getting away from everything and just keep it simple. I'm just trying to keep it to the key points and just trying to have fun, just play baseball.
MLBPipeline.com: I know people always want to ask you: To catch or not to catch? How much are you fueled by wanting to prove to people that you can stay behind the plate?
Nottingham: I'm trying every day. I feel like I'm getting a lot better. This is a big catching organization and we work a lot, every day. There are a lot of great catchers in this organization. Being around them, I feel like I'm getting better and learning a lot. I want to be behind the plate. I want to be like a Buster Posey. He's a great guy, a great leader and just an overall great player.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter.