Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.
2. Brandon Nimmo, CF
Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 21
Acquired: 1st round, 2011
2013: 480 PA, .273/.397/.359, 131 K, 71 BB for Savannah (A)
Date(s) seen: 4/18/13 and 4/19/13 @ Lakewood Blue Claws (PHI)
7/14/13 @ the Futures Game
Note: Lakewood series was pre-hand-injury, Futures Game post-hand-injury.
The short of it: A hand injury limited Nimmo in 2013, but there is still a major leaguer in here.
The long of it: Okay, he's probably not going to be Jose Fernandez. Let's get that out of the way and also stop pretending like the Mets are the only team that missed there. Now, onto the profile: Nimmo's hands are lower than in his Brooklyn campaign, and he's added about twenty pounds of good weight. Swing is still very pretty from the left side. Looked impressive going the other way on outside fastballs. He still struggles with armside (left-handed) pitching, especially on breaking balls. He ends up out in front and lunging after off speed stuff, which is likely a pitch recognition issue. I still believe in the power potential here, and he just missed a home run to straightaway center in a very large ballpark during my look. There was a noticeable difference between Nimmo in April and Nimmo in July. Watching him take BP at the Futures was never going to do him any favors given the talent around him, but it was clear that the hand injury was still bothering him. The bat speed was sapped, and he wasn't trusting his hands at all. His bat path just sort of weakly wobbled through the zone. So for those concerned about his stat line, I would chalk up at least some of the performance to the hand injury. That said, there's not standout tool here, which always makes for a difficult projection. Nimmo's an average runner with the extra weight, but his centerfield play has improved to the point where I am comfortable projecting him there, with the caveat that there is still a 4th OF/tweener outcome lurking. Arm is also average, so it's a left field profile if he has to move, which will of course put pressure on the bat. I generally hate comps, but I could see an Austin-Jackson-lite profile, perhaps with more power, but without the plus speed/defense.
The projection: Average major league centerfielder
Risk Factor: High. Platoon issues. Pressure on bat if he moves to a corner. Power tool still mostly projection.
What’s next: St. Lucie, a stadium that is mercifully neutral for left-handed hitters.
What I'll be looking for in 2014: Health, and for the power to creep into his game now that he's out of the lefty-hitting nightmares of MCU Park and Historic Grayson Stadium.