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Nicholas to get a look after Soto has surgery

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Geovany Soto will be sidelined for three weeks after left ankle surgery, giving the Rangers a chance to look at some of their other catchers in camp. One intriguing option is Brett Nicholas, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Missouri in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Nicholas has been used both at first base and catcher over the past four years. He was drafted as a catcher but has been used mostly at first base the past two years because the Rangers had other highly regarded catching prospects in front of him. But now Nicholas is going back to catching full time this spring.

"I like it because I consider myself a leader and being a catcher, that's mandatory," Nicholas said.

Nicholas is also a left-handed hitter who batted .289 with 21 home runs, 91 RBIs and a .474 slugging percentage at Double-A Frisco in 2013. A left-handed hitting catcher with power is an invaluable commodity. According to those who have watched him, Nicholas handles pitchers well and has worked into a good receiver. He still needs to work on his throwing.

"The biggest thing is I don't have the greatest arm," Nicholas said. "I need to develop a quick release and work on my accuracy. If I can get my throws down and on target, everything will be good."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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