Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mitch Keller, Ian Happ, Jordan Stephens, and Logan Shore.
Prospect of the Day:
Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 6 IP, 5 H, BB, 7 K
Making his High-A debut, Keller missed not a beat in running to five his streak of starts without allowing an earned run – a span of 29 innings (and counting). His heavy fastball runs up to 95, and he pairs it with a nasty hook that’ll flash plus when he’s able to land it consistently. With last year’s arm issue hopefully in his rearview at this point, he looks the part of Pittsburgh’s next best pitching prospect.
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His twitter handle is @you_found_nimmo. You're welcome.
The situation: Michael Conforto has hit .119/.182/.237 in June. He hit .169/.242/.349 in May. He has a wrist issue that required a cortisone injection recently. Meanwhile, the Mets are just three games back of the Nationals despite hitting .231/.303/.392 as a team over the past thirty days. Something had to give eventually, and the Mets swapped one first-round outfield pick for another, calling up the 2011 13th-overall selection, Brandon Nimmo.
A look at the recently traded Jimmy Cordero, recent receiver of a promotion Brandon Nimmo, and more.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas)
Much has been made about Nimmo’s lack of bat speed, but that issue has been vastly overblown. No, it’s not elite, but he has more than enough to hang at the major-league level and square up fastballs. Additionally, while his passive approach sometimes leads to taking the best pitch in his at-bat, it also helps him get into more hitter-friendly counts, allowing him to jump on fastballs.
Nimmo’s ability to draw a walk will make up for any flaws in his hit tool, and he should get on base at a rate better than league average. The big question is what kind of power production he’s going to have. He’s built like a power hitter and shows above-average raw in batting practice, but his approach in games is more line-drive oriented. He can stick in center field for now, which limits his need to produce big time power numbers, but when he eventually shifts to a corner spot, he’ll need to hit for more power if he wants to stick as an every day player. –Jeff Moore
Scouts' takes on Garrett Richards, Dellin Betances, Braden Shipley, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
In a relaunch of the Eyewitness Accounts series for 2014, the BP Prospect Staff profiles Jorge Alfaro, Bubba Starling, Josh Hader, Aaron Sanchez, Lucas Sims, Tim Anderson, Brandon Nimmo, and Anthony Kemp.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo and Twins righty Alex Meyer
Hitter of the Night: Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 4-4, 2 R, 2B, HR.
Nimmo’s big day found him over the .400 mark on the season, but the real rarity on Monday night was that he actually didn’t take a walk. The extremely patient Nimmo takes a Votto-esque approach even to RBI situations, refusing to expand the strike zone for any occasion en route to 24 walks already this season and a .530 on-base percentage. How much power he will develop is still up in the air, but at the very least, he can hit atop a playoff-caliber lineup.
Pitcher of the Night: Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K.
Meyer is pitching about as well as the Twins could have hoped for, with this being his second-straight 11-strikeout, scoreless start. There’s little doubt that Meyer is one of the five best starters in the Twins organization right now and is certainly better than Kevin Correa or Mike Pelfrey at the moment, but both of those guys have money committed to them. With a combined 6.04 ERA for their starting pitchers, the Twins need Meyer, but they don’t have a place for him unless they make a move. That may be enough justification to keep him in the minors until summer.