The Mets, a team starved for outfielders who can hit, selected Brandon Nimmo, an 18-year-old from Cheyenne, Wyo., with their first pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Mets fans may be disappointed that Nimmo has not followed in the superstar footsteps of phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, who are more or less the same age as he is but have already been making their presence felt in the big leagues. Both of them were in the starting lineup at the recent All-Star Game at Citi Field. Nimmo was also at the ballpark for the All-Star festivities, but he was there for the Futures Game, which spotlights minor leaguers who are expected to be the major-league stars of tomorrow.
Whereas Mets fans were hearing the names of pitchers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler years before they arrived in Flushing, the same can’t be said for Brandon Nimmo. Last year he batted .248 for the Brooklyn Cyclones, and this year he’s hitting around the same for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Mets’ South Atlantic League affiliate, which is a level above the NY-Penn League, where he played last year. I had a chance to watch Brandon play last weekend and chat with him while I was visiting Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city.
What I found unusual is that after every at-bat he would jot notations in a journal. I asked him if that is something that Mets management wanted him to do. “No, I just like to do that,” he said. “I am a student of the game, and writing down which pitches were thrown to me at various counts and game situations helps me with my hitting.”
Brandon admitted that he had some butterflies in his stomach when he was playing in the Futures Game but was thrilled to be selected for the All-Star Game kickoff event. “Playing at Citi Field in front of a big crowd certainly establishes confidence,” he said. “I am hoping that one day I will be playing a lot of games there.”
Parris Island, SC has long been the home of one of the largest Marine Corps recruit training facilities. Many baby boomer wrestling fans such as myself first heard of it thanks to popular bad guy wrestler Sgt. Slaughter (real name Robert Remus), who played the role of an intimidating drill instructor in the ring as he hurled insults at both his opponents and fans.
Sure enough, at the Parris Island Museum located on the Marine base, Remus, a real-life former jarhead, is given his due on the Corps’ alumni celebrity wall of fame. Legendary Mets pitcher Tom Seaver is also honored on the wall.