Brandon Nimmo Interview; and His Level for 2012

At Metsmerizedonline, Joe did an interview with Mets first rounder Brandon Nimmo.  Matt asked me where I think the Mets will start Nimmo in 2012, and I told him: Savannah.  Yes, he has the physical tools to succeed, but it’s his coachability that make the agressive assignment work.

Actually, it’s not that agressive an assignment.

Assigning Nimmo to Savannah would be precisely in line with recent industry standards regarding first-round high school draftees.  Of the high school position players drafted in the first round in 2009 and 2010, 12 of 16 started the subsequent season with their Major League team’s A-level full-season affiliate in either the South Atlantic League or the Midwest League. This list includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Delino DeShields Jr., Jake Skole, Christian Yelich and Kellin Deglan from the 2010 draft and Bobby Bochering, Jiovany Mier, Mike Trout, Nick Franklin, Reymond Fuentes and Slade Heathcott from the 2009 class.

Three of the four players who did not brake camp at the A-ball level were Angels farmhands picked in the back half of the first round Kaleb Cowart (#18, 2010), Chevy Clarke (#30, 2010) and Randal Grichuk (#24, 2009).  The only other exception was Donovan Tate, the Padres pick at #3 overall in 2009, who, as a two-sport athlete, was supposed to be exceedingly raw and who did not play at all during the summer in which he signed.  His performance in 2010 in the Arizona rookie League (.222/.336/.344 in 25 games) helps explain why the Friars were so slow to move him.  There were also off-field issues as well: in 2011, he was suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse, his second such suspension.

So upon further review, I think he’d almost have to play his way out of an assignment to Savannah in spring training, by proving either on the field or off that he’s not ready.

So yeah, Nimmo to Savannah for 2012.

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