|12 Marcus Nidiffer
- 2010 second-team preseason All-SEC (SEbaseball.com)
- SEC Academic Honor Roll (2008)
- 14th-Best Prospect in the Valley League by Baseball America (2008)
- SEC Academic Honor Roll (2007)
- SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll (2006)
UK's vocal, physical and emotional leader ... Has been a workhorse for UK since the 2008 season, becoming the everyday catcher and leader on the diamond ... Showed tremendous toughness to play through a broken thumb on his catching hand throughout the 2009 season, with UK lacking the depth behind the plate to rest him even for mid-week games ... Before the injury, led the SEC with a .444 average in the first 17 games, with UK owning a 13-4 record ... After the injury, hit .242, committing seven of his eight errors while playing handicapped, with UK going 15-22 ... Finished the year strong with homers in four of his five final games and in all three games at Florida ... Hit .395 in games UK won and .211 in games UK lost in 2009 ... Will be counted on as a run-producer in the UK lineup and as the senior leader behind the plate ... Has earned praise from head coach Gary Henderson for his leadership and calm demeanor in the field ... Athletic for a backstop, can be a weapon behind the plate, ranking second in the SEC in pickoffs by a catcher.
Played during the summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, joining UK outfielder Keenan Wiley and former UK shortstop Chris Wade on the Harwich Mariners ... In limited at bats, finished with a .173 (14-for-81) average, with four doubles, one homer and nine RBI ... Played mainly behind the plate, with the versatility to play first base and in the outfield for Harwich ... Ranked third in the Cape throwing out 34 percent of would-be base stealers (11-of-32) ... Was on the same team as LSU outfielder Leon Landry, Vanderbilt standout Joe Loftus, Auburn center fielder Trent Mummey, Mississippi State first baseman Connor Powers and Florida State infielder Stuart Tapley ... LSU's Daniel Bradshaw and Vanderbilt's Chase Reid helped form the Harwich pitching staff.
In many ways, was the heart and soul of the UK team in 2009, jumping out to an excellent offensive year early and fighting through a painful injury because UK lacked depth behind the plate ... Played in 50 games with 44 starts, leading the team with 10 homers, adding a .312 (49-for-157) average ... Added six doubles, one triple and 32 RBI, leading the team with a .554 slugging percentage and a .928 OPS (on-base + slugging) ... Drew 18 walks and struck out a team-high 44 times, stealing 3-of-3 bases ... A strong and athletic catcher, ranked second among SEC backstops with four runners picked off ... Jumped out to a blistering start in UK's first 17 games, before breaking the thumb on his left catching hand ... In his first 17 games of 2009 and before his injury, led the SEC with a .444 (24-for-54) batting average, with two doubles, one triple, three homers and 16 RBI, fielding .994 ... After breaking his thumb, committed seven of his eight errors and hit .243 (25-for-103), with seven homers and 16 RBI, striking out 34 times in his final 33 games ... When fully healthy, UK owned a 13-4 record and after his injury, UK went 15-22 ... Had eight of his 10 homers in SEC play, batting .255 (25-for-98) playing in league play ... Hit .292 (19-for-65) on the road, with four homers and 13 RBI ... In games UK won, hit .395 (34-for-86) with six homers and 21 RBI and in games UK lost, batted .211 (15-for-71) with four homers and 11 RBI ... Batted .364 (20-for-55) with three homers and 12 RBI in 18 night games ... Hit .291 (23-for-79) with runners on base and .327 (27-for-49) with runners in scoring position ... Had three lead-off homers, batting .342 (13-for-38) as the lead-off hitter ... Hit in the No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 spots in the UK order, having the most success as the No. 6 hitter (.344; 11-for-37) and the No. 8 hitter (.309; 21-for-68, five homers) ... Totaled 11 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games ... Started all four of UK's opening games in the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C., going 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the opener against Troy ... Had three three-RBI games, as well as a four-RBI game against Indiana State ... Finished the year on a five-game hitting streak, launching homers in four of his final five games and in all three games of the season-ending series at Florida ... Drew three walks twice, against Western Michigan and Tennessee ... Had three RBI against South Carolina in the opener.
Split time with senior Tyler Howe, serving as a two-time starter in weekend SEC series and as the right-handed hitting catcher ... Batted .216 (25-for-116) with 20 runs, five doubles, one triple, five homers and 17 RBI ... Stole 2-of-3 bases and slugged .405 ... Laid down eight sac bunts on the season ... Fielded .993, throwing out 15-of-29 attempted stealers, good for fourth in the SEC ... Saw action in 47 of UK's 63 games, starting 34 ... Started out strong, hitting for an average above or near .300 until a late-April 0-for-21 slump ... Minus the slump, Nidiffer hit for a .263 average with five homers and 16 RBI ... Had the game of his career in a Friday-night win at then-No. 7 South Carolina, launching two homers and batting 2-for-5 with three RBI in a 15-3 win ... Among the other highlights for the catcher in 2008, included a walk-off homer vs. Purdue and a 3-for-4 game vs. Mississippi State that saw Nidiffer hit a triple and a home run ... Earned All-Star honors in the Valley League during the summer, with Baseball America tabbing him the 14th-best prospect in the league ... Batted .305 (40-for-131) with a league-high 13 home runs in 42 games ... Ranked third in the league with 35 runs scored and was one of only four players in the league with 10 or more homers ... Led the team with 31 RBI and 25 walks ... Added four doubles and a triple, ranking third in the league in slugging (.649) and on-base percentage (.440) ... Garnered Most Valuable Player honors during the Valley League All-Star game in July, after going 2-for-5 with a home run and a game-high three RBI.
Reserve catcher appeared in eight games, registering six at bats ... Scored twice and struck out four times ... Registered nine put-outs on the season ... Played in four consecutive games (March 10-13).
Earned three letters at Tennessee High School for coach David Halstead ... Had breakout season as a junior, batting .356 with seven home runs and 30 RBI en route to first-team All-Northeast Tennessee honors ... Was named to the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Underclassman team that year ... Returned to bat .301 in senior season while walking 21 times for a .450 on-base percentage ... Also played football for four years, leading his team to three straight conference titles.
Full name is Marcus Irvin Nidiffer ... Son of Mike and Denise Nidiffer ... Both parents played basketball at Division III Emory and Henry College in Virginia ... Has an older brother, Jason (22) ... Brother played baseball at Wofford ... Born on Jan. 13, 1987 in Bristol, Tenn.