Paul DePodesta, the Mets’ vice president of player development and amateur scouting, recently spoke with Chris McShane at Amazin’ Avenue on the status of the team’s farm system and player development.
One subject of their discussion was Brandon Nimmo, the Mets first-round draft pick from the 2011 amateur players draft. Nimmo did well this year pulling in a .397 OBP in Savannah, but critics look at his .359 slugging percentage as something that definitely needs improvement.
However, Savannah is a pitchers ballpark and Nimmo suffered from a wrist injury last year so management is not all that concerned about some of his statistical flaws.
At the very beginning of the season, he was gangbusters, before he got hurt,” he says. “One of the difficult things in the minor leagues is that when guys get hurt, they don’t really have rehab assignments. They come back and play right away. The same thing [happened] with Cecchini in Brooklyn. They get thrown right into the fire, and it takes them a while to get their sea legs again.
“With Nimmo, I think the combination of the wrist and the ballpark really took away from some of his power. I was really pleased with the progress he made against left-handed pitching. As a high school player, especially coming from where he came from, he didn’t see a lot of quality lefties. In Brooklyn, his first year, I think that was a struggle for him. He was very successful against righties but lefties gave him a hard time. And last year, he was still very, very good against righties, but made a lot of progress against lefties, which was really encouraging.
“Very few guys put up the type of on-base percentage he did in Savannah. We went back and looked since they’ve been our affiliate, and the only guy we could find that was similar was Josh Satin. And Josh Satin did it as basically a 23- or 24-year-old, and that was after playing four years at Cal, not a 20-year-old. So we’re really, really pleased with what he did. I think we’ll continue to see more power out of him. Some, maybe here at St. Lucie, but we’ll really see it begin to emerge when he gets to Double-A or Triple-A.
I think DePodesta is right and that his outlook for him is definitely encouraging. Nimmo undeniably has work to do if he wants to continue climbing through the Mets’ farm system, but he has proved that he has potential and management definitely recognizes that.