Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (Scottsdale): 2-3, R, 3 BB, K. These are the kinds of games we need to start getting excited about with Nimmo. At first glance, he looks like the kind of hitter who will one day be at the center of a big-league lineup, but he’s not the run producer his physical frame suggests. Because of that, he has a tendency to let scouts down. That’s their fault. Instead, it’s important to focus on what he does well, which is hit for average and get on base even more frequently. Nimmo is going to be an everyday player and a darn good one, but he’s going to be atop a big-league order and not necessarily in the middle of one. The power may not come, but he’s going to get on base enough to play every day.
Roman Quinn, OF, Phillies (Scottsdale): 2-6, K. Quinn is getting his reps in center field this fall, which is good given that he didn’t switch to the position until the second half of the minor-league season. But the real question surrounding the speedster is whether he’s going to hit enough to play every day no matter his position. His speed helps everything play up, but there are real questions about whether or not the hit tool is good enough, and his plate discipline isn’t adequate to make up the difference.
Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Salt River): 4 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Reports this fall match much of what we all saw in the second half of the season in Double-A, and he’s carried that strong effort over into the Arizona Fall League. Despite his first-overall draft pick status, Appel projects more as a mid-rotation starter than an ace. That’s not a disappointment, however: If a mid-rotation starter is what he becomes, the Astros should be quite happy with their selection. With starting pitchers becoming quite expensive these days, six years (and potentially more) of Appel’s services are an attractive feature, even if it’s not what the Astros thought they’d be getting.
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Glendale): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, K. I’ve been naturally wary of Anderson because of his extreme K:BB split (68-to-7 this year), but he continues to hit at every level, which helps mitigate my concerns. He’s supremely talented, but still quite raw, and missing time this year due to a wrist fracture certainly didn’t help. He’ll need all the experience he can get in the desert this fall, but if he can refine his approach at the plate even slightly, he looks poised to make an impact.
Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals (Peoria): 2 1/3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. A good changeup can miss a lot of bats, and that appears to be what’s happening against Almonte in the AFL. He struggled in Wilmington this year, but good fastball velocity and a plus changeup suggest that the results should have been better. He’s still just 21 and his peripheral stats suggest that he should have been better this season than he was, as does his stuff. Success this fall should set him up well for a jump to Double-A next year.
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