Sandy Alderson is a General Manager known for constructing teams by an “outside the box,” method of thinking. Going against conventional wisdom, Alderson has built teams over the majority of his executive career through the “money ball” style. Perhaps the most vital component of that style of play is power from the left side of the plate and that is the very route Alderson decided to take in his first draft while running the New York Mets.
Last night Alderson selected 18 year-old high school outfield talent, Brandon Nimmo from Cheyenne, Wyoming. The pick surprised many around baseball as most experts projected the Mets to select a proven power pitcher from the college ranks that could help in the near future. However, Alderson and his staff could not look past the promise and sheer raw talent that Nimmo brings to the table.
The label of a “five-tool,” player is used far too loosely in regards to prospects in this day and age, but in regards to Nimmo, he is the prototypical five-tool prospect who can do everything well.
The selection of Nimmo though is a bit interesting for this particular organization for a variety of reasons.
Unlike most draft eligible players, there is not much of a tangible track record that follows Nimmo. The state of Wyoming is so scarcely populated that Nimmo’s high school did not offer a baseball program. Most of his body of work is compiled over showcase tournaments around the country along with local legion baseball. Just this spring for his American Legion squad, Nimmo is hitting .569 with two home runs, four triples and 14 stolen bases in just 22 games. In his last full season of legion ball, Nimmo batted .449 with 15 homers, 89 RBI, 23 doubles, six triples and was a perfect 34 of 34 on stolen base attempts in 70 games played.
At the 2010 Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field, Nimmo earned the prestigious games MVP honors.
Nimmo first garnered national attention from scouts last summer when he was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field and earned the prestigious games MVP honors by going 2-4 with a triple, two RBI’s and two runs scored. Baseball America regards Nimmo as the second best high school athlete and hitter in this years draft class.
The other interesting aspect of Nimmo’s selection is the Mets current financial situation. With the organizations highly publicized financial woes raising questions about their willingness to spend money on talent, is widely known by baseball executives and agents that Nimmo is seeking a very hefty signing bonus far above slot money, which is something the Mets have been very reluctant to do in past years under the leadership of Omar Minaya. With a commitment to play for the University of Arkansas next year, it has been speculated it will take nearly three million dollars up front to get Nimmo signed.
Once the money aspect is resolved, which I fully expect it to be before the signing deadline in mid August, look for the Mets to move very slowly with Nimmo. With the ability to play all three outfield positions with above average speed and throwing arm, Nimmo instantly becomes the organizations most talented outfield prospect. Standing at 6’3” and 175 lbs. Nimmo has a great baseball body and certainly will fill into his body as he continues to grow. The Mets feel as though his power potential will only grow as he gets older which is why the organization feels his potential and upside far outweighs the risk; for once the Mets went with potential rather than the safe pick. I have heard from a few people close to the draft today who feel as though Nimmo has the potential to become a Grady Sizemore type of player with his current overall skill set and future projections.
About Matt Kardos
Matt Kardos is a 24 year-old writer from Dunellen, NJ. who has served as the Trenton Thunder beat writer for Double G Sports for the last two seasons. After debuting in the fall on 2012 as a co-host of New York Sports With Kardos and Ally on the Double G Sports radio network of shows on Blog Talk Radio, Matt has branched out to a solo act and can be found hosting "Thunder Weekly" every Monday night at 11 p.m. as he breaks down the week that was and brings you inside the Thunder clubhouse for the latest news and happenings around the team. Kardos joined our staff in March of 2011 when he was brought aboard to cover the Somerset Patriots for the 2011 season. Matt has a decorated background in the journalism field, having served as the Sports Editor and Editor in Chief for Quo Vadis, the weekly newspaper for Middlesex County College where he received his associates degree in journalism. In addition to his writing talents, he has coached little league baseball for eight years and is a starting pitcher for the Point Pleasant Pirates in the Jersey Shore National Adult Baseball Association. Matt is a diehard Jets, Mets, Nets and Rangers fan and has an extensive knowledge base for Minor League Baseball. Fun Fact: Kardos is cousins with Cleveland Indians top outfield prospect and Minor League Player of the Year, Tim Fedroff and close friends with Pittsburgh Steelers starting linebacker, Jason Worilds. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattkardos
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