Welcome to this week’s edition of Boom or Bust! Today, some of the writers here at MMN will be debating whether or not the 2011 first round pick for the New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo, will end up being a successful major leaguer. Starting 2013 with Low-A Savannah, the outfielder got off to a great start, hitting .322/.421/.433 in the season’s first month. Since then, injuries kept him out of the lineup for most of May, and has struggled finding that April form. Here’s what some of our writers had to say:
This is a perplexing one to call because of his age, lack of experience and 2-3 injuries that have cost him valuable development time and missed games. Hearing some scouts say that it’s almost a given that he will move to a corner outfield position makes him less valuable. Both scouts cited issues with range, not getting good jumps. and an apparent lack of natural instincts you want from a centerfielder. So now the question becomes will he generate enough power to play left or right field? The results so far do not look very promising. In fact he is starting to look more and more like a top of the order hitter rather than a future masher in the middle of the lineup. He draws walks, but 101 strikeouts in 290 at-bats is alarming to say the least, plus the word is he’s lost some a lot of speed with his weight gain. The Mets knew they were taking a huge gamble with Nimmo, but thought he had a high ceiling. Unfortunately that ceiling has dropped after two seasons. If you put me on the spot and asked me to choose boom or bust right now, based on how high the initial expectations were I’d have to say bust. Verdict: Bust.
My general tone of optimism takes a hit with this week’s Boom or Bust. Yes, Brandon Nimmo is only 20 years old, one year removed from high school. Yes, Brandon Nimmo was one of the youngest players to play in the NY-Penn League last season. And, yes, after a blazing start to his second professional year, Brandon Nimmo’s progress was delayed by injury. Even so, Nimmo is a first round draft pick, 13th overall. Although I believe there is still a tremendous upside in Nimmo, it is far to early to make an accurate judgment, and I still have faith in Nimmo’s potential, at this point his rate of progress is not befitting of a number one draft selection. Verdict: Bust.
Unfortunately, I’m taking the same point of view as John B. did above. It’s still early, and Nimmo has a lot of developing left to do, but at this very moment, he hasn’t shown much since April. I’m not saying he needs to come out and rake every single night, but he’s struck out an awful lot. He’ll learn from all this and I do think he will eventually make it to the big leagues, but with the expectations of being a first round pick, it’ll be tough to perform to that level. At this point, I see him turning into more of a fourth outfielder than a starter. Verdict: Bust.
So what can I say about Brandon Nimmo? I was severely disappointed with this pick and found it difficult to justify. I know he’s an athletic young guy — but that’s the kind of gamble you take in the supplemental round at best. Of course, considering he’s one of ours, I wish him nothing but success, but he’s struggled to find that so far. Advanced statistics be damned, but Nimmo has not been able to capitalize on the potential that he was touted to have. He does not hit lefties well, he lacks the power needed to play the corner outfield spot that he seems destined for, and he has been riddled with injuries. Now, I’m willing to say to that the numbers he’s putting up over the second half of this year are affected by his wrist injuries earlier in the year, so he might just get a pass from my ever-criticizing eye until next year. He flashed the ability to hit for a high average in Savannah pre-injury this year, so I’ll give him one more year to really call him a bust. But…he hasn’t done enough for me to call it a boom, either. Verdict: Potential Bust.
We’ll, we’re not high on Nimmo at the moment. However, like we said, it’s very early and he has plenty of time to change people’s minds. As Satish said, he’s one of our own, and we wish Brandon nothing but success. Here’s to hoping he completely proves us wrong!