In the 2011 MLB draft, the New York Mets selected high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the 13th overall pick in the draft. It was the first time the Mets had chosen a position player in the first round of the draft since they took Lastings Milledge in the first round of the 2003 draft.
A Wyoming native, Nimmo had trouble playing baseball regularly in his hometown because Wyoming is one of the very few states in the U.S. that does not have a baseball program within its high schools.
Nimmo first made a name for himself at the 2010 Tournament of Stars in Cary, North Carolina. He batted over .400 during the tournament and was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game. Nimmo won the MVP award for that game by going 2-for-4 with two RBI. As a result, Nimmo was was contacted by 23 of the 30 major league franchises before ultimately getting drafted by the Mets this past June.
As far as grading a scouting report for Nimmo goes, Chuck Johnson of NY Baseball Digest believes that among the five tools for a position player (hitting, hitting for power, running, defense and throwing arm), Nimmo's running and defense are both above average.
As Johnson states:
Nimmo has run a post-surgery 6.39 60 with an average of 6.5. This puts him at a 7 on the scale, and his hitting the magical 6.4 puts him a tick higher. Conversely, he is a bit slow coming out of the box, and as I’ll discuss later, has some fixable issues there as well which should boost his home to first times up the chart. So, for now, I’d rank him overall just a bit below seven, or as in the case with his arm, "fringe plus."
And for defense:
Nimmo has shown both the ability to recognize the ball off the bat early and also to consistently be in position to make a play after he has.. He has the speed to play center, and with some adjustments, the consistent arm strength to play right. Without seeing him in game action it’s hard to rank him accurately, however the consensus is by the time he reaches New York he will be a solid average to plus outfielder.
When will Brandon Nimmo make his major league debut?
Nimmo has plus hitting potential, but being as his experience is limited, as is the video, it’s difficult, if not impossible to label him. Pro scouts are positive about his hit tool, with some saying his “polish with the bat” to be almost as impressive as his speed. During his MVP performance last summer in the Under Armour game, he doubled down the left field line and singled through shortstop for his two hits, so he’s not afraid to use the opposite field and is comfortable with his hitting style and approach.
As for his throwing arm:
Nimmo’s arm has been called everything from “solid average” to “fringe plus”, which would slot him somewhere in the 5 to 6 range, maybe as high as six and a half. In looking at the video the first thing that jumps at me is the hitch he has in his throwing motion. I like the fact the hitch is at the bottom of his arc and not closer to his release point, which makes it an easier fix one he reports to Instructional League.
While not quite as difficult to project as the overall hit tool because not everyone HAS power, it still can be a tricky one to figure out at times. It is also the one tool which causes the most disagreement among scouts...Where does Nimmo profile power wise? It’s impossible to say, although no one thought Ike Davis would be a 20 homer guy when he was drafted either, and that’s including playing half the time in Citi Field.
Nimmo appeared in just seven games for the Kingsport Mets and batted .241 with two home runs and four RBI in 29 at-bats. It's a very small sample to judge, but in this coming season, Nimmo will be playing a full season in the Mets' farm system and that will be Nimmo's first attempt to show that the Mets made a good choice by drafting him.
At just 19 years old, Nimmo is still very young and will not be getting to the major leagues any time soon, but Baseball America already has him as the Mets' third best overall prospect and best among position players. This says a lot about Nimmo, when you factor in the talent that other top prospects like Wilmer Flores, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Cesar Puello and Cory Vaughn all possess.
Determining when, where and how Nimmo will fit into the Mets' plans by the time he is ready for the major leagues is too early to tell for sure.
Hopefully within the next three or four years, Nimmo can develop into a solid five-tool player and bolster the Mets offense when he gets called up. Until then, it will be interesting to see how well he can adjust to using wood bats and facing better pitching.
A good fit for Nimmo within the Mets' minor league system right now would be within the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn league.