In terms of wins and losses, the New York Mets have one of the top farm systems in baseball early in the 2014 season. This has been due to many of their top prospects getting off to fast starts the first month of the season. But no Mets prospect is off to a better start than Brandon Nimmo, one of the team’s top outfield prospects.
Ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft as a high schooler from Wyoming, a state that doesn’t even have high school baseball, Nimmo has had plenty of skeptics, with many expecting him to fail and turn Sandy Alderson’s first draft pick with the team into a complete bust. Some had all but written him off after a disappointing 2013 season in which he hit .273/.397/.359 and averaged more than a strikeout per game.
The high number of strikeouts and the fact that he hit just two home runs had many believing he would never grow into the player the Mets’ front office hoped he would when they drafted him. But his lack of power in 2013 can be easily explained by a spacious home ballpark in Savannah that’s tough on lefty power hitters, as well as a wrist injury that caused him to miss time and zapped his power even after he returned to the field. Nimmo started the season strong and finished strong when he started to regain strength in his wrist, so his final numbers are skewed by a rough stretch in the middle of the season.
But Nimmo has come back strong in 2014 and is starting to prove skeptics wrong with a slash line of .347/.490/.458 32 games into the season. His slugging percentage is nearly 100 points higher than it was last year, as he is hitting the ball with power and authority and has already matched his home run total from 2013. More importantly, he is doing that while cutting down on his strikeouts and significantly improving his walk rate. Nimmo has shown an advanced approach and a lot of plate discipline, leading to more walks than strikeouts, which falls right in line with the Mets’ organizational hitting philosophy.
If Nimmo can keep doing what he’s been doing during the early part of the season, he’s bound to receive a mid-season promotion to double-A. If that’s the case and Nimmo has a strong second half, he’ll enter the 2015 season on the major league radar with a chance to make his big league debut before the end of the 2015 season. That’s something few skeptics would have thought likely before his red-hot start to the 2014 season.