MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Brandon Nimmo, OF, East HS (WY)

Summary

I had a toss-up on who should be the last high school hitter we profiled. I almost went with Trevor Story, since he's got some Texas ties. But, this kid from Wyoming won me over. If there is a sleeper late in the first round, I think it's him.

Nimmo is a big unknown. He didn't have a high school baseball team, so he needed to spend his time on the local American Legion team. That also limited scouting opportunities and brings up all sorts of questions on what kind of pitching he's faced and whether he can succeed at the next level.

However, as John Klima says below, Nimmo may be the player that Bubba Starling should be. He's got power potential, he's good good-to-great speed and he should stick in center field. That's enough of a package to win sleeper status from me. The team that takes him will have to be very comfortable with the risk, though, and I wonder if Nimmo would be better served going to college for a few years and proving himself against higher competition. If he does that, he could shoot up draft boards for 2014.

Floor

This is the problem. Because he hasn't faced elite pitching, there are such big questions about whether Nimmo can do it against the pros. Therefore, his floor isn't very high. He's got good tools, but already has a history of knee injuries, which also drops his floor lower. This is definitely a guy who could wash out before he reaches the upper levels of the minors, kind of like former Astros prospect Mitch Einertson.

Ceiling

On the other hand, Nimmo has the potential to be a five-tool guy in center. Like I said, he's got the skill set to be what Bubba Starling should be, which means he also profiles close to what Drew Stubbs did for Cincinnati. I think Nimmo's power will show up a bit better than those guys, if his speed isn't quite as good, so maybe he's got Curtis Granderson potential as a ceiling.

College commitment

Arkansas

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

No. 11 is too early for the Astros to take Nimmo and I don't think he lasts till their pick in the second round. More likely, he gets gobbled up by a team in the supplemental round, if the Rangers don't take him with the final pick in the first round.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law had him at No. 33 to the Rangers.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 30 to the Twins.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 33 to the Rangers.

Perfect Game USA did not have him listed.

Baseball America had him at No. 33 to the Rangers.

John Sickels did not have him listed.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump




Baseball America: 

With a lean, 6-foot-3 frame with projection remaining, he's a good athlete and one of the best sprinters in the state. He tore his right ACL playing football during his junior year in 2009 and spent most of last summer playing with a brace on his knee. He's an above-average runner when he's healthy, which helps him on the basepaths and in center field, and there's more to his game than just speed.

Keith Law:

He has strong hands and good hand-eye coordination, with a frame that looks built for some future power if he can get a little more rotational. He has the arm to play right field and has shown good speed in the past, although he's been bothered this spring by tendinitis in his right knee, which is the same knee he had ACL surgery on in 2009.

Baseball Beginnings

Brandon Nimmo played his way onto the national radar because he is something closer to what Derek Starling is billed to be. From the very small looks I’ve had at Nimmo, I see a guy with a loose, explosive body who showed me the money tools of speed and power. I wish I had a longer scouting history on this player, but I don’t.

Project Prospect: 

Nimmo's swing is very short and compact, with a line drive plane and enough lift to give the opposing outfielders plenty of leg work in the gaps. Nimmo needs to work on finishing his swing and hitting behind his front leg more consistently. Typically, he'll go from contact to running out of the box too quickly -- more like a contact-oriented singles hitter -- cutting short his extension and not getting a full weight transfer. This is a relatively easy fix and should allow him to make his power more useable. Nimmo has an excellent all-fields approach with a focus on center field to left. With a bit of work on the lower half, his short stroke could make him a line drive and doubles machine.

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