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Young outfielder Brandon Nimmo was drafted as high-upside hitter. After 2012, do the Mets still have a potential star on their hands?
In 2011, the Mets selected Brandon Nimmo, a mysterious Wyoming-HS product. After signing him to a bonus of $2.1 million, Nimmo put up a stellar debut in the NY-Penn League, and will look to build on it as he slides to full-season ball in 2013.
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 6'3 Weight 185 lbs.
"Tall, athletic frame with loads of bat speed and quick wrists. Has everyday regular potential. He can stick in center"
"Nimmo has some swing and miss in his game. His pre-swings action are much calmer now than they were in his pre-draft scouting videos, but he still has his hands very high which can lead to a long path to the ball. He's especially vulnerable to soft stuff away and left-handed pitching in general, though he otherwise commands the strike zone well. Has enough bat speed to compensate for the deficiencies elsewhere in the swing, but projects as .270 type guy for me. Pitch recognition skills suggest he will continue to draw walks as he moves up the ladder."
"Nimmo can barrel a baseball. Right now it's mostly gap power to all fields, but that should develop as he ages/fills out."
"A lot of people I talked to project him in a corner, and while I think it's possible he stays in center, it's far from a lock."
"Nimmo is one of the best position prospects I saw in the NYPL league this year. There is some question about his ultimate position, but if he can stay in center field, he projects as an above-average centerfielder. If he loses speed of fails to develop better instincts, he will likely have to move to left field where he's more a solid-average type guy. I see a peak line in the neighborhood of .270/.350/.420 with 15-20 home runs."
As mentioned above, Nimmo flashed more gap power than home run power in 2012, hitting just six home runs, but 20 doubles and two triples. His ISO was .157 -- good for ninth in the league -- and he was the only player in the top 20 who was under 20 years old.
Nimmo showed gap power, but as Paternostro mentioned above, he has an advanced approach at the plate. He walked in 14.5% of his PAs in the NYPL this year, facing older and more advanced pitching. Nimmo does not come without his flaws, however, as he only posted a meager .594 OPS vs lefties. This flaw is going to be something to watch, as if he fails to figure out lefties, that could severely limit his value and make him a platoon player.
An important factor (as I alluded to above) in looking at minor league performance is age, and Nimmo is no exception. Of the 14 players aged 19 or younger in his league (minimum 200 PAs), Nimmo finished third in OPS, second in line-drive percentage, and first in ISO.
Nimmo is the kind of prospect that the Mets system has not seen in a while, presenting a lot of upside coupled with a lot of risk. It will be interesting to watch if he can overcome his deficiencies and become a starting center fielder in the majors, or even a platoon bat. One thing is sure for Mets fans, there is certainly reason to be excited about Brandon Nimmo.
Stats courtesy of Minor League Central.