Friday, August 03, 2012

A Diamond In The Rough: Brandon Nimmo

When the state of Wyoming comes into ones mind, most people probably think of ranches, farmers, mountains, bull riding etc. Baseball is not even a thought to most people. However, that is not the case for Cheyenne native, Brandon Nimmo. Since high school baseball doesn't exist in Wyoming, American Legion is the only way to play competitively.

In 2010, Nimmo played in 70 games for his Post 6 team, and collected a .448 batting average, with 15 homers and 84 runs batted in. Brandon also converted 34 of 34 stolen base attempts. Even with these kind of numbers, Nimmo was not really getting that much attention. Luckily, Brandon's American Legion coach was going to be one of the coaches at the Tournament of Stars in North Carolina, and suggested to give Nimmo an invite. He did not disappoint, and his performance earned him a spot to play at the Under Armour All American game in Chicago's very own, Wrigley Field. Nimmo shined at the game going 2-4 with a triple, and two runs batted in. He was named MVP of the game and from then on, everyone knew Brandon Nimmo.

This is not the first time a member of the Nimmo family had a knack for baseball, however. Brandon's older brother, Bryce, played baseball at the University of Nebraska. I got the chance to speak with Brandon's mother, Patricia, and she explained how Bryce had a big influence on Brandon growing up. She also went on to say how much Brandon dedicated himself to baseball. "He is working as hard as he can to make it to New York City. Growing up he always worked so hard, and didn't get the chance to do what regular high school students did. He has sacrificed a lot to get where he is today."

The Mets selected Nimmo 13th overall in the first round of the 2011 first year player draft. He chose to sign with the team instead of attending the University of Arkansas. Currently, Nimmo is playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League. He got off to a slow start, but has adjusted nicely and started to pick it up as of late. In his last five games, he his hitting .478, and a total of .258 for the season. Add 3 home runs and 25 runs batted in, and Nimmo is having himself a nice year. I asked his mother how he is adjusting from the country life, to one of the most famous cities in the world. "It is very different", she said laughing. With the Cyclones not having many days off, its been hard for Nimmo to really experience life in the city. Brandon has visited the Metropolitan Museum, and also went to Peter Luger's Steakhouse with his family. All of that aside, I really do believe Nimmo has potential to be a legitimate five tool player in center field. He also has a lot to prove because scouts wonder if he can handle the better competition compared to what he played against in Wyoming. Every time I see him play, he seems to come through. He has that "it" factor that teams look for. Nimmo is a born leader, and I have no doubt that if he continues to impress, we'll be seeing him in Flushing very soon.
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