Posted by Ernest Dove at 11:00 AM
As we all know, over the years, the Mets, and their front office, have continued to preach patience, when it comes to its prospects. The organization has seemed to have a stable and consistent philosophy, at least over the last 5 years. It's a philosophy which appears to have its prospects fully succeed at each level, in both progress/development and by pure numbers, prior to each promotion.
This same organization also has recent history of promoting players, no matter how dominant they are to start a year at a certain level, only AFTER that leagues all star game. And, through this philosophy, along with the theories that MONEY also plays a key role in prospect advancement to the main club, we have seen prospects like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores all have to excel, maybe for longer then others may have wished, before being given the opportunity to show what they have at the major league level.
I bring up this philosophy, and topic, because something immediately changed, at least in regards to one player. During this the month, the Mets (at least for us fans, writers and the like) were shocked to see the promotion of second baseman Dilson Herrera. Herrera started the season at A ball, and only had a handful of games/at bats at the AA level prior to the promotion. Yes, technically, the Mets had a need for a second baseman after their incumbent, and current all start 2B Daniel Murphy headed to the DL. And yes, due to the things like super two, arbitration, rule 5 and 'control' type stuff, players like Matt Reynolds apparently were not an option for promotion to the big club to take Murphy's place. However, there was still also technically an obvious alternative, which would have been simply insert Wilmer back to second base, and have Tejada finish this non playoff season out. But, in the case, and maybe FINALLY, the Mets made the bold decision to get a look at the future, a little earlier than usual.
So far, so good/ok/decent. In the end, ultimately, and at first glance, I think we can all already say that Dilson Herrera is capable of remaining at this top level, no matter his age or minor league level experience. And there is a chance that he finds himself on the 2015 25 man roster.
So now, we come to the kid pictured at the top of my post. One Brandon Nimmo. The kid who, himself, became part of the new philosophy to be begin with (even if he didn't know it). Nimmo, after some years of drafting college, college, college, and arms, arms, arms, became what might be becoming a new wave of Mets prospects and players.
Yes, Most of us know the story of Nimmo not even getting to play high school baseball. And yes, many can argue for days about Sandy Alderson and Co., and their confidence/cockiness/arrogance in rolling the dice on high school kids with high ceilings, rather then simply draft college arms who throw 95+ or college hitters in their 20s. But Brandon Nimmo continues to show, and naturally have, certain instincts that this organization wants. He has a sweet swing. He walks......a lot..... has some pop, and seems to find himself on the base paths.....a lot...
Nimmo weathered the storm in the lower minors, getting used to 'the grind' of professional baseball. Then, not only did Nimmo make it through the hitter Unfriendly confines of Low A ball in Savannah, but he also became part of their championship winning team.
So, by all accounts, based on performance, an eye for good pitches, and a good OBP, he earned his promotion to High A St. Lucie to start 2014. And, as he did in previous levels, Nimmo made the adjustments, started to show more pop while out of Savannah, and earned his...... yes..... post all star game promotion to AA ball.
As in his previous promotions, Nimmo did not come out on fire. However, since making it Binghamton, he has continued to show his power. And, after apparently starting to fade towards the end of the year, low and behold he finds himself playing even more baseball, in the leagues playoffs. And, low and behold, over the past 6 games, as of the morning of 9/11/14, he has 9 hits in his last 25 at bats. He remains at the top of the batting order, for a minor league team that is one game away from winning the league championship, which would technically give Nimmo back to back championships.
So, I guess I was just wondering. What happens, if , the soon to be 22 year old (by start of spring 2015), shows a continued good eye at the plate, along with power, some speed, and an overall knack for getting on base come 2015?
I assume I'm probably pushing it to try and speculate that Nimmo can have chance of braking camp with the main ball club right from spring. Because, again, the philosophy of the organization has been pretty consistent. However, this is the same organization that saw a kid go on a absolute tear, and gave him a shot. So, with that being said, could the Mets possibly use this new/atypical approach with Brandon, especially he shows up in Vegas, come April 2015, and shows even more power in that hitter friendly environment (Nimmo actually has hit more homers and doubles in AA ball then he did in A ball this year). And, if so, the bigger question is this. Based on possible momentum, numbers, need or what have you, could the organization roll the dice on this kid once again, and hand him a major league uniform PRIOR to next years AAA ball all start break (yes, I'm humbly assuming the organization will at least let this kid start in Vegas next year and not return to Bingo).
Depending on the way the season goes, the Mets, and their fans, may have a lot more on their minds then whether or not another highly regarded prospect deserves a starting role on the active roster. However, I for one will remain curious about finding Nimmo, in my teams starting outfield, wearing the blue and orange, at some point in 2015, even despite his age, background and experience in this sport. Because, as Dilson Herrera has just shown, age and experience can have little effect on trumping talent, no matter the level.