Brandon Nimmo of the New York Mets has defied the odds.
Imagine playing baseball in a state where there almost isn't any at the amateur level. Imagine having to be evaluated solely through showcases, AAU and American Legion. Imagine having that potential, however, living in a state where the spring temperatures are as high as 48 degrees Fahrenheit prevents you from being given a proper evaluation.
There is a guy who has had to deal with this, and he, just last June, was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft by the New York Mets with the 13th overall selection. His name is Brandon Nimmo, and he is the No. 3 prospect in the Mets' system, according to Baseball America.
Although Nimmo's pro debut was quite short last year, as negotiations for his contract played out until the final hour, what people have seen from his time in Legion and Showcase ball has shown that he can play.
In the Under Armour All American Game in Chicago back in 2010, Nimmo captured MVP honors with a 2-for-4 performance, which included a triple and two RBI as well as two runs. In addition, in Legion ball, Nimmo's average has been in the .400s, although this is because Legion plays in fewer games than high school baseball.
Nimmo's work in Legion and the All-American game was so impressive, that there were scouts who believed that despite not playing on a consistent schedule, he was a legitimate option to be a first-round draft choice, albeit more in the compensatory round.
The Mets weren't the only team interested in Nimmo's services. The Tampa Bay Rays, who had a draft record 10 first-round choices, a sixth of the first-round total, were keeping a close eye on him as well.
Fortunately, the Mets were 11 spots ahead, and nabbed him with their first pick. After signing him on August 15th, the team assigned him to the Gulf Coast League where he hit an expected .241. He was then quickly promoted to Kingsport in the Appy league, where in nine at-bats, he had one hit.
It is my belief that once Nimmo gets a full year's evaluation time, he could be dangerous. Not only can he hit, but he was once a track champion at Cheyenne East High School.
He ran a 6.54 60-yard dash, which converts approximately to a 4.35 40-yard dash, maybe faster. This was all done after he had healed from a football injury, according to Scout.com.
That would make him faster than Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who ran a 4.38 at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Nimmo definitely has the tools to play, he can hit, run and field well. What he needs is proper maturation time in order to have a great impact when he makes the big club.
My recommendation is that he stays in the minors for four years, maybe getting a September call up in 2014. Once he does this, he could make a big impact in 2015, the projected year he makes the club.
If Nimmo is handled properly, and developed at the recommended pace, there is a chance that there will be another time of insanity in the Big Apple..."Nimsanity" anyone?
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