2013 Rank: #5 (‘12:Rank: #5) | Stats
Why Ranked Here: Nimmo moves down one spot in my rankings from a year ago, but that masks the fact that I think I’m higher on him than I was at this point last year as he was jumped only by Cesar Puello and Rafael Montero, two guys who succeeded at AA and at AA and AAA respectively. The Nimmo I saw at his best in Savannah could play centerfield, and sprayed line drive around the yard with a keen plate eye and shower power potential. That’s a star level guy. The problem is that he did not do it all year long.
Nimmo has really grown into his 6’3” frame and has put on roughly ten pounds of muscle each of the last two winters and is now a more powerfully built ~205 pounds. He says he’s as quick as ever.
Coming into the 2013 season, I was concerned about whether Nimmo would stay in centerfield, or would have to move to a corner as he aged, added weight and lost speed. For now, I can offer a stronger endorsement of his work in center. He handled the enormous expanse of Historic Grayson Stadium very well. He gets good reads on the ball, and takes long strides that allow him to cover plenty of ground. He retreated well on balls to both sides. As the season progressed, he became more comfortable playing aggressively shallow on weaker hitters as well. He does not leave his feet often, in part because he did not have to. Nimmo’s weak spot defensively is his arm. There’s an awkwardness to his throwing motion that just does not look fluid. At best, it’s an average arm for center, although it plays a little below most of the time.
At the plate, Nimmo has tweaked his swing and setup since entering professional baseball. He’s now a little more upright, with a short stride, rather than hitting out a wider base as he did after he was drafted. When he’s going well, his hands go right to the ball. When he struggles, his hands cast away from his body leaving him extremely susceptible to pitches on the inside part of the plate. He was comfortable going to the left-center field gap and working the other way. Nimmo showed power in batting practice, but in games was more hesitant to let his hands go and attack the baseball in the same way.
Nimmo is extremely coachable and easy to please his instructors. He’s worked hard on learning the Mets patient approach and will go deeper into counts than is common for young players. He walked in 14.8% of his plate appearances in the SAL, which is very good, but also struck out in 27% of those same plate appearances, which is awfully high.
Nimmo, is an outstanding interview. He listens to questions, and answers them as honestly as he can. If he becomes as good a hitter as he is a talker, he will be an All-Star.
Nimmo became the first player from Wyoming ever drafted in the first round when the Mets plucked him 12th in 2011.
Nimmo hit righties (.284/.410/.385, 20 XBH – 367 PA) much better than lefties (.240/.354/.281, 4 XBH – 113 PA). He did better against lefties towards the end of the year, but he will need to continue to improve against southpaws, and his performance against them will have a lot to say about his eventual value.
2013: It’s hard to separate Nimmo’s 2013 from an injury – a bruised hand he suffered in Lakewood at the end of April. I wrote a lengthy piece about Nimmo’s hand and season here.
Opening Day- April 21: .424/.513/.576 – 17 games
April 20/21: Bruised hand.
Next six games: 1-for-27 (.042) with 10 strikeouts in 27 PA, a strikeout rate of 37%.
May 28 -July 21: .228/.343/.305 with 76 strikeouts in 234 PA a strikeout rate of 32.5%. His isolated slugging percentage dipped to .077.
July 22-Season’s End: .300/.453/.379… 35 BB/43 K in 179 PA… 24% k rate… 19.5% BB rate
When Nimmo returned from a month-long stay on the disabled list, at the end of May, he just was not the same player. He did not trust his hands. That led to a cascade throughout his swing. He started striding too close to the plate, which locked up his hips and prevented him from making hard contact on anything on the inner half. He collapsed on his lower half. He casted with his hands. He let hittable pitches go by early in the count. Fastballs beat him in, and low and away.
By August he was a different hitter. He was standing taller and letting his hands work right to the ball. He was using both gaps, and waiting longer to decide on each pitch. It was a joy to watch.
On August 5th, Nimmo hit his second homerun of the 2013 season. It was a missile out to right-center, the big part of Historic Grayson Stadium. A scout who saw the game and the swing believed that was enough to write him up as big league power potential.
Dr. Pangloss Says: A star for the Mets in centerfield
Debbie Downer Says: Not enough pure hit tool to play everyday in the big leagues.
Projected 2014 Start: Advanced-A St. Lucie.
MLB Arrival: Heat of Summer 2016.
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