Baseball Prospectus today released a host of eyewitness scouting reports on top prospects in the minors, one including Brandon Nimmo, which, in contrast to other top picks like Bubba Starling is an excellent scouting report with a good future projection on his value. The scouting report was issued by scout Jeff Moore, who saw him on three separate occasions in May, with very satisfactory remarks. He evaluates the body type and the 5 tools of Nimmo, which will be shown below.
On Nimmo’s body type:
Tall frame, strong and well-developed for a 21-year-old, but with broad shoulders that still allow for some room to fill out.
Moore rates Nimmo’s contact tool at a 55:
Classic left-handed stance with quiet hands and a slight knee bend. Features a short swing, especially for a tall player, with a slight natural uppercut. Not an ultra-quick bat but enough to handle anything but the highest velocity. Has natural ability to put the barrel on the ball and is willing to use the whole field. Hits with a line-drive approach and is extremely patient at the plate, even in RBI situations. Hit tool will play up because of patience, which helps him get into hitter’s counts.
He also rates his power at a 55:
Does not have the premium bat speed needed to generate plus power, but does have good size and strength, a slight uppercut and creates natural backspin to help the ball carry. Still learning how to drive the ball, and his in-game power is limited by his all-fields/line-drive approach.
His speed was rated at a 50:
Does not have quick acceleration but runs well under way; long-strider.
As well as his glove:
Good route runner, makes the most of his speed in the outfield. Can play adequate defense in center field or plus defense on the corners.
Average arm strength. Will play in center or left; below-average in right field but won’t be a liability.
And in Summation:
Nimmo is still figuring out what kind of player he is going to be. He’s built like a power hitter but approaches his at-bats like a table-setter, and his game fits that mold. While none of his traditional tools stand out, he does have one premium ability—plate discipline. He refuses to expand the strike zone, even when he has an easy run-producing opportunity. He can be an above-average hitter, but the hit tool will play up because of the plate discipline. He could be a plus on-base player. His defensive profile is still a question, but if he gets on base and provides plus defense in an outfield corner, he could start on a first-division team.
My take on this Scouting Report:
This is Nimmo in a nutshell for the time being. He’s hitting a lot of singles at the moment, but knows how to barrel the ball, but is an interesting physical specimen that figures to grow some strength, and finally figure out how to drive it. Scouts last year were not impressed with his bat speed apparently, and there isn’t too much quickness, but this scout assures that it’s enough to generate above-average power one day, or in terms of Citi Field- a lot of doubles and an average amount of home runs. His contact value and plate discipline gives him an above-average possibility when it comes to batting average, and his on-base-percentage will be one of the best in the league, should he succeed in the Major leagues. He should hit around .270 with 35 doubles, and 18-20 homers and a high on-base percentage if playing for the Mets in his peak years.
As a runner, if he fills out, I expect him to steal less. He has been learning the base paths, and aggression, but he isn’t going to be a 20-20 type guy, so you can strike Choo off your comparison list.
In terms of defense, no, he is no Juan Lagares, and I wouldn’t unseat Lagares for Brandon Nimmo, but he can hold his own in center, and would be a great fielder in Left Field, should Lagares stay with the Mets by the time he is called up. His arm wouldn’t be adequate for right, but would likely be better than Granderson, should he still be with the Mets in the future.
Just in general, this is a great scouting report from Baseball Prospectus on Brandon Nimmo, in contrast to others, like Bubba Starling who was picked 8 picks higher than Nimmo, who received a 30 on his future hit tool, and 55 in power, but his speed and defense received the higher marks.
To me, with Baseball America recently down on him, this shows the contrast in differing opinions with scouts. Nimmo won’t have an ultimate upside of a great power hitter, or a great contact hitter, or base-stealer, but he should succeed and at the very least become a good all-around player.