The New York Mets have more than enough outfielders. In fact, the team is struggling to choose who will be the third and final piece in the outfield this season. But that doesn’t mean the team isn’t keeping their eye on minor leaguer Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets drafted him in Round 1 in 2011. Since then, Nimmo has shown equal signs of success and struggles.
By April 2013, he was hitting .447. His batting average led the South Atlantic League at the time. It was also much better than the .211 average he hit for in 2011 with the Gulf Coast Mets and the Kingsport Mets, and his 2012 .248 batting average with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
But for the remainder of the season, Nimmo struggled mightily. The 20-year-old bruised his left hand in late April, and further strained his glute in May.
He ended the season averaging .273 with two home runs and 40 RBI. Now, the run production and power is a bit low than the Mets expected when they signed him in 2011. But that can be chalked up to the fact that Nimmo’s hand injury really messed with his psyche last season.
According to Savannah Sand Gnats broadcaster and MetsMinors reporter Toby Hyde, “When he returned, it was fairly clear that Nimmo did not trust his hands and was compensating in other areas of his swing.”
But Nimmo has chipped away at overcoming his injuries.
Although August featured his highest strikeout percentage at 22.9, Nimmo managed to increase his OPS to .970—his highest percentage since his red-hot hitting streak in April. Nimmo also improved his batting average. After a .228 average between late May to July, Nimmo came out strong with a .354 average in 105 plate appearances in August.
While Nimmo may not make it to the majors this season, he certainly has the potential to make it to the majors one day.
As for his home run potential—he won’t be hitting it out of the ballpark every other day.
When he’s played in pitcher friendly ballparks, Nimmo struggled. The most home runs he’s hit in a minor league season is six. There’s certainly a difference between six home runs and 15 home runs, which he batted in for the American Legion.
There’s a possibility that Nimmo can hit for 15 home runs, but it’s still too early to tell. In the meantime, with a decent on-base percentage (OBP) this year, he can be projected to have a high OBP in the major leagues as well.
It’s best to see how the Mets perform with Granderson, Young and Young Jr./Lagares this season, while letting Nimmo play the year out in the minors. He’s young enough to fully recover both mentally and physically from his injury last season. And when the time is right, the Mets can bring him up. He’ll then be able to play at the professional, major league level.