He’s one of the most talked about Met prospects, a subject of heated debate ever since he was selected with the Mets’ top pick in 2011. After getting my first extended live look at Brandon Nimmo during Saturday’s doubleheader at Binghamton’s NYSEG Stadium, I think most Met fans are going to be impressed and pulling hard for our top outfield prospect.
At the center of the storm is a baseball neophyte. After chatting with the guys sitting in front of me and telling them a little about Nimmo when he moved to the on-deck circle as he prepared to hit, one turned and said, “Wow, he really does look young doesn’t he?” as Nimmo approached the plate. Yes, Nimmo looks young and exudes an excitement and passion for baseball.
Watching Brandon Nimmo com to bat, dispels any argument about the fact that he is developing a plate discipline beyond his 21 years of age. Nimmo knows the strike zone. In seven plate appearances on Saturday, Nimmo worked three base-on-balls. Nimmo worked a ten pitch walk in his first at bat of the double header. Even his strikeout in his last at bat of the opener forced Erie’s Tommy Collier to use 9 pitches. Nimmo fouled off 9 of the 19 pitches he saw in those two at bats.
That profile is consistent with Nimmo’s St. Lucie Met stats this spring before his elevation to Binghamton and a huge part of his impressive on-base-percentage at the high-A level. In 279 plate appearances in Florida, Nimmo worked 50 base-on-balls, one less than his strikeout total helping him build a .448 OBP. That same command of the strike zone is taking shape in Binghamton where Nimmo has already walked a dozen times in 66 plate appearances.
And, Nimmo hustles. Nimmo doesn’t jog to first base after working a base-on-balls. He sprints. I’d always read Nimmo lacked speed. You would have fooled me making that claim watching the kid yesterday. After walking to open the second game of the double header, Nimmo stole second base easily on the next pitch then later raced home to score the B-Mets first run of the day when Brian Burgamy singled. A second walk to lead off the third turned into Binghamton’s second run with Nimmo scoring when Dustin Lawley singled to left. Later in the second game, Nimmo would pull a 76 mph curveball to right field for a single.
Nimmo’s all out hustle provided some anxious moments in the late innings of the nightcap. Playing left field NImmo was off in full speed pursuit of a foul ball that floated near the stands on his side of the field. Barely breaking stride, Nimmo smashed into the tarp stored along the outfield fence, the contact bringing gasps from the Binghamton crowd. The young outfielder returned to his position apparently unmarred from tangling with the tarp.
Above all else Nimmo brings a refreshing enthusiasm to the baseball diamond. He approaches the batters box with a big smile on his face, sometimes exchanging pleasantries with the umpire. Nimmo runs all out on the bases and plays the game with a bounce in his step.
Brandon Nimmo didn’t do anything spectacular at NYSEG Stadium on Saturday. He went a combined 1-for-4 at the plate, walked three times, stole a base, and scored two of the B-Mets 4 runs in the double header. With that said, doing all the little things that help baseball teams win games, Brandon Nimmo was impressive.
And physically, Brandon Nimmo has a huge upside. It’s pretty obvious Nimmo is far from filling out his tall, athletic frame. There is a lot of growing and a lot of maturing still to come.
As it is with many youngsters tabbed with the label of baseball prospect, no one really knows what kind of major league baseball player Brandon Nimmo will be. If Nimmo contines to approach the game like he showed me this weekend, I’m hoping when all the evidence is in the verdict will be a good one for Nimmo and New York Met fans.