Our #3 hitter, Kentucky's Marcus Nidiffer, was a huge source of power in the middle of Covington's lineup of speedsters. Nidiffer, the first team All-League catcher, had an interesting stat profile: in 42 games, he hit 305/440/649, with 35 runs, 4 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, 31 RBI, 8 HBP, and a 25/43 BB/K ratio. He finished 3rd in the league in runs, 1st in home runs, 8th in RBI, 7th in total bases, tired for 7th in walks, 3rd in on-base percentage, and 3rd in slugging percentage. Unofficially, he came in 3rd in OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage).
Nowhere was his power more evident than in the All-Star game, held in his home park at Covington. After singling in a run in the 1st inning, Marcus lofted a 2-run home run off Woodstock's Daniel Bard in the 4th. He then just missed two more home runs with long fly-outs later in the game. Based on his 2-5, 1 run, and 3 RBI performance, he was named the Most Outstanding Player for the South. (I'm guessing on the "O" part- surely it wouldn't be "offensive," would it?)
In the finals, Luray showed their respect of Nidiffer when they walked him all three times he batted in game one. In game two, he went 3-5 with a run, 2 RBI, and a home run. He struggled a bit in game three, but so did the entire Covington lineup against Luray's Alex Wimmers.
At Kentucky, Marcus redshirted his first season in 2006, and had only 6 at-bats as a freshman in 2007. In 2008, as a redshirt sophomore, Nidiffer hit 216/280/405 in 116 at-bats, with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, and a 11/46 BB/K ratio.
Marcus has a reputation as a soild receiver behind the plate, as well, so hopefully Marcus will have a shot at pro ball down the road! (Picture below courtesy of Haymarket Joe)