Scouting Reports for Mets Prospects in the 2015 Futures Game
On July 12, the 2015 MLB Futures Game will showcase some of the best minor league talent for this season. The American prospects will face off against the international-born prospects in Cincinnati during All-Star weekend.
The Mets will have two representatives on the American team this year in outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. This will be Nimmo's second trip to the Futures Game, with the first appearance occurring in 2013 when the Mets were the host team. Conforto, the Mets' 2014 first-round pick, is making his first trip to the Futures Game.
What can we expect to see from each of these outfielders in a few days? Let's find out! Here are some scouting reports on both Nimmo and Conforto.
Brandon Nimmo, CF, Binghamton Mets (Double-A)
60 G, .278/.347/.369, 12 2B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 24 R
Brandon Nimmo is currently the 59th-ranked prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com. He is also the Mets' No. 2 prospect, behind southpaw pitcher Steven Matz.
The Mets' 2011 first-round pick missed roughly a month of the season with injuries before being activated on June 14.
Nimmo had a breakout season in 2014 with a .278 average, .394 OBP, 10 home runs, 51 RBI and 86 walks, as he displayed tremendous patience at the plate. His 2015 season has not been as great, but it's still solid nonetheless.
Nimmo projects as more of a contact hitter than a slugger, based on his career minor league statistics. Nimmo has just 22 home runs across his minor league career. He has some speed but has not stolen more than 14 bases in a season, so it would be wise to not expect a ton of steals from him in the future.
Defensively, Nimmo has played mostly center field over the years. Across four and a half seasons, Nimmo has made just 11 total errors. He has also shown that he has an above-average arm, with a career-high six assists in 2013. More than likely, though, Nimmo will soon have to learn left field or right field, with the Gold Glove presence of Juan Lagares already entrenched in center field for the Mets.
Nimmo possibly could be ready for the major leagues by 2016. The production of veterans Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer will likely be a huge factor in when Nimmo ends up getting promoted. More than likely, Nimmo will be playing with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2016 and in the major leagues by 2017 at the latest.
Michael Conforto, LF, Binghamton Mets (Double-A)
83 G, .295/.369/.468, 22 2B, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 42 R
Michael Conforto has been rising rapidly through the Mets system and is currently hitting .301 with three home runs and 19 RBI in Double-A after tearing through Single-A earlier this season. Conforto got his promotion to Double-A in late May and has not looked back. He is currently ranked as the 67th-best prospect by MLB.com.
In 2014, Conforto hit .331 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 163 at-bats after being drafted in June. His average is not as high this year, but it's understandable due to both better pitching at higher levels and more at-bats over the course of an entire season.
Unlike Nimmo, Conforto fits the mold of a slugger more than just a contact hitter. He should still be able to hit for average, as he has demonstrated so far, but he will likely be counted on in the future to be a run producer and not necessarily the kind of hitter who sets up runs. He could very likely adapt to Citi Field's dimensions once he arrives in the major leagues and become a doubles hitter as well.
Conforto has also shown a good amount of patience at the plate so far, with 10 walks in his 163 at-bats in 2014 and 36 walks this season in 325 at-bats. If a hitter can draw walks in over 10 percent of his plate appearances and be able to hit close to .300 as well, that's pretty good. It's clear that Conforto has a good eye at the plate and will not necessarily swing at every pitch he sees.
On the bases, though, the 6'1, 211-pound Conforto will likely be more of a station-to-station runner and should not be counted on to steal bases regularly. That's just not the kind of player he is.
Defensively, Conforto has only played left field thus far. He struggled a bit in the field last season, with six errors in 63 total chances and 41 games played, but he also had five assists, which shows that he's got at least an average arm in the outfield. This season, Conforto has been much better. He has made just one error, and that was when he started the season with the Single-A St. Lucie Mets. He has also had eight assists between both Single-A and Double-A.
If Conforto's throwing arm is above average, he could be better off in right field, but he seems to be very comfortable in left field and is probably considered the Mets' left fielder of the future.
Conforto could also be ready to join the Mets in 2016. In fact, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson even admitted that he and his front office colleagues have even considered calling him up to the major leagues this season to possibly help the Mets' struggling offense. More than likely, this won't actually happen, but it just shows how invested the Mets are in Conforto's bat and that they consider him to be a big part of the future.
Look for Conforto to have an impact in the Futures Game this weekend and on the Mets' success in the future. The possibility of a long-term outfield of Nimmo, Conforto and Juan Lagares is definitely something that the Mets and their fans should be excited about.
All statistics shown are courtesy of MiLB.com.