Boom or Bust: Brandon Nimmo

By Former Writers

August 4, 2013 12 Comments


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:

Joe D:

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.

John Bernhardt:

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.

Matt Musico:

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.

Satish R.:

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!

  • James

    Haha. 20 years old. “Bust” Yep.

  • Jessica

    I wouldn’t call a twenty-year-old a bust. I covered him a full season last year, and his potential is only part of the story. He also needed to gain weight and fill out more. He did gain weight in the off-season, and when I spoke to him from Spring Training, he’d talked about adding muscle, and having more stamina. He’s also been growing more into his body, and still is.

  • So in this Boom or Bust feature, you’d call Nimmo a boom at 13th overall?

    In light of what scouts and experts are saying now about him and his strikeouts and performance thus far?

    Wow, are you from Mack’s Mets?

    Would have loved to see you state your case rather than leaving a childish retort. But this is the internet so…

  • This is a Boom or Bust weekly feature, Jessica.

    What would you call him so far?

    He may be a “Boom” a year from now, but if this is the Jessica I think it is, how would you grade him in the context of a Boom or Bust feature on Sunday, August 4th?

    Thanks for commenting.

  • THREE! Count them THREE ex-GMs working for the METS and they pick this hick from the sticks who never played in a HS baseball game! They had to scout him hitting in a barn! And the Marlins (after convulsing with laughter and having to pick themselves up off the floor) swoop right in with the next pick and take, Jose Fernandez. Yes, Jose Fernandez who was selected to this year’s ALL STAR team and is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. This immediately goes into the METS Hall of Fame of Catastrophic Mistakes (The Steven Chilcott Pavillion). Sandy Alderson is a joke and a fraud. And the two failures he hired to be his gophers are imbeciles. All this in addition to a 3 time quitter as a manager and a complete incompetent as a pitching coach. Somewhere even M. Donald Grant is laughing.

  • It’s obvious that Fernandez was the way to go, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about where do you see Nimmo as he ends his second full season with the Mets in Low-A Savannah. No need to bring in whatever disdain you obviously have for the front office. We like to debate prospects on their own merits.

  • chago

    I understand our cast of writers have to make a black and white choice and given that choice it’s hard not to write bust. But here are a few things I’d like to add. Joe D I see that some scouts are saying that he will have to move to a corner OF spot in the near future, check to see if any of them were the same scouts saying that about Juan Lagares I would question their eyesight and judgement to their faces and there were many saying that about Lagares as recently as this past spring..Satish I also am reserving any harsh judgement until next year I have seen many an establish good hitting major leaguer sapped of his power for months from wrist injuries . Like you I find the whiffs alarming but the power and “hit” skill i can give a pass to or this year and this year alone.

    I just want to add something to “The pain of being a Mets fan’s ” post. Wow I had almost ALMOST forgotten about Steve Chilcott for the youngsters in here that was the bust we took in the 66 draft where we passed on Mr October himself Regginald Martinez Jackson. I hope hat we never have to look back and see that same type of bad luck when pondering Nimmo and Fernandez.

  • I posted a reply on MMO that is very relevant to this. The other poster asked if I’d seen what John Sickels had said about both Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini. Here is my reply:

    Nimmo: “He’s still quite young at 20 and I like the fact that he draws walks, but his power development has been disappointing for a guy who strikes out this much, and he’s lost speed. Stock down, but too soon to give up. ”

    Cecchini: “Good reports on his defense and the sample is too small to conclude that he won’t hit eventually, but he’s got a lot of work to do.”

    Basically what I’ve been saying. Don’t give up on either. I’m very disappointed with Cecchini so far, but I still think he could eventually be a decent MLB regular or utility player. He has been judged so unfairly, declared a bust before he even played a minor league game. Keep in mind he’s 19 playing in a league where the top college pitchers immediately go. No one is a bust at 19.

    Nimmo has been really controversial. Hasn’t been hitting well. Before his injury in April he was hitting great, and the great bat speed was still there. Since the injury, he has struggled and the bat speed (which was arguably his best trait coming out of HS) has not been there. .322/.421/.433 before the injury, which is good. The power numbers are hard to come by in Savannah, especially for lefties. Since the injury, .223/.351/.296.
    This from Toby Hyde says it all:
    “When he returned, it was fairly clear that Nimmo did not trust his hands and was compensating in other areas of his swing. He has admitted as much. Scouts and coaches noticed. Also, since his return, perhaps as a compensation mechanism, he has started landed more closed with his front stride foot. When his right foot lands too much closer to home plate than his back foot, it prevents his hips from clearing through the swing, and affects his hand path.”
    I’m sorry, but with Nimmo, I really think his injury has had a big effect on his numbers. Last year the batting average didn’t look great, but he actually had a very good season. The power was there (.158 ISO, 6 HR, 20 2B in 296 ABs) in a pitcher’s park. And he really isn’t as slow as his SB numbers suggest. He needs to work on route running.

  • One thing though Connor, scouts don’t care about stolen bases to judge speed, they time them with a stopwatch. They look for burst and time to first, and scouts say he’s slower. Also Nimmo said he’s slower too because of muscle mass and weight gain which makes sense. The Mets selected Nimmo because of the allure of a future power hitter.

  • Hi Chago, thanks for the comment.

    One of the scouts I spoke to was an area scout and the same one who told me back in January that Juan Lagares was an even better centerfielder than Matt den Dekker even though he was playing left or right. Wen I wrote that in a post later on in February, many readers disagreed. It turned out he was right about Lagares and absolutely nobody gave him credit for his centerfield defense until now of course. So I put a lot of trust in him. MLB Area Scouts are a step above MLB roving and advance scouts IMO..

  • Matt Musico

    Thanks to all for reading and commenting. That’s what we’re hoping to get on a weekly basis with Boom or Bust. We want to hear your opinion after you read ours. In this case, I hope we’re all wrong and Nimmo starts to turn it on sooner rather than later.

  • Mick

    12 other GMs passed on Fernandez, you’re being a Monday morning quarterback. You can look at just about any draft and find a guy who was taken late who ended up being a star, that doesn’t make any GM a fool.