Happy Wednesday gang!!! The non-waiver trade deadline is now upon us – deals have to be completed and submitted to the Commissioner’s Office by 4:00 PM eastern tomorrow, so we should gain a lot of prospect clarity over the next 24 hours. Time for another Panning For Gold: Finding The Prospect Hidden Gems, our weekly look at some of those lesser-known prospects that are beginning to generate the type of buzz that starts their climb up organizational ranking lists, leading to more discussion about them in more well-known circles. Think of these guys as players you may not necessarily have at the top of your lists in shallow keeper leagues, but names you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on, the types of players you can wind up scooping up before your mates in your quest to become another fantasy baseball “guru”…respected and adored whenever draft time rolls around (not to mention mumbled about under your opponents’ breath) for years to come.
This week we’re going to shine the light on Brandon Nimmo, an outfielder for the New York Mets.
Nimmo was the Mets’ 1st Round pick in the 2011 Draft (#13 overall) from Cheyenne East High School in Wyoming – he was one of those truly “under the radar” signings considering the fact that Wyoming doesn’t have organized high school baseball. Brandon comes from strong athletic bloodlines (his Father wrestled when he was in college, and his brother was an OF for Nebraska’s 2005 College World Series participant), running track at Cheyenne East during the school year until American Legion ball started up during the summer months. He became the first-ever First Round pick from the state when the Mets called his name at the podium.
While he’s not one of those prospects with a particularly loud tool, Nimmo strikes scouts as a “baseball player” who doesn’t have any particular holes. He reminds many of Daniel Murphy (a current Met with the same type of skill set), as a gritty player that can do a lot of things to help you win ballgames. His best tool is his eye and approach, posting OBPs of .372 and .397 in Short Season ball and last year in the SALLY League respectively.
Assigned to St. Lucie in the Florida State League (Hi-A) to begin this season, Brandon slashed .322/.448/.458/.906 with 9 2Bs, 5 3Bs, and 4 HRs with a 50/51 BB/K Ratio and 9 SBs in 12 attempts prior to receiving a promotion to AA Binghamton. Typically a gap-to-gap hitter, his over-the-fence power appears to be developing, evidenced by the 5 bombs he’s hit in 126 ABs since moving up a level. His overall slash line has suffered a bit as he’s adjusting to more advanced pitching, but his patience and eye have remained sharp (23/31 BB/K Ratio).
The Mets don’t appear to be much of a threat to be a playoff contender unless their financial situation improves quicker than expected, but if his power continues to develop Nimmo could slot in as an everyday OF in Citi Field as early as Opening Day 2016 if not before. He’s spent the majority of his development time thus far in CF and has been adequate there defensively, but probably profiles better as a corner guy that could be a good fit in the #2 hole in a lineup given his eye and ability to handle the bat. While he’s not a “sexy” player with big power or exceptional wheels, Brandon has a good chance to turn into one of those all-important “glue guys” who can really help a contender by constantly putting pressure on opposing Pitchers and keeping the line moving for the bigger threats in your lineup as well as hurting you when you make a mistake.