Brandon Nimmo has gotten off to one of the hottest starts in the minor leagues this season. After another three hit performance on Tuesday, he woke up on Wednesday morning as the leading hitter in the South Atlantic league with a .447.
Nimmo has officially positioned himself to be the No. 2 prospect in the Mets organization once Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud are promoted to the big leagues. Noah Syndergaard still has the keys to the No. 1 spot on the Mets’ prospect list, but Nimmo is making a push.
Many fans thought Nimmo was a bust after 2012. They would look at his numbers and scoff at them. However, Nimmo spent 2012 adjusting to professional baseball. He grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where his high school didn’t even have a baseball team. He grew up playing American Legion ball, and established himself as one of the top high school prospects in the nation moving into the 2011 draft. The thing with high school players is, they only face a good pitcher once per week…maybe. Sometimes, they find themselves playing professional baseball and have never faced a pitcher as good as they will see at that level. Now they see pitchers blowing 90+mph fastballs from the rubber every day of the week. The speed of the game changes drastically, and it takes the hitters time to adjust.
Young Brandon Nimmo has adjusted. 2012 was his adjustment year, 2013 is the result. Not only has he adjusted, he has transformed. He is now a professional hitter. He laces line drives back through the box, into center field consistently. When I look at Nimmo, I think tremendous upside. The risk of drafting this kid that never played high school baseball is starting to turn into reward for the Mets.
After the hot start this year, some are calling for a promotion. Bad move. Leave the kid where he is and let him taste success over the course of the season. Let him dominate, then skip him to Double-A in 2014. There wouldn’t be much of an adjustment skipping from Low-A to High-A ball, but why put undue pressure on a kid if the talent level isn’t much different?
There will still be doubters when it comes to Nimmo. There will still be naysayers. But Nimmo is going to keep producing — his swing and his approach to the game tells us that.