08/16/11 12:30 AM ET
Mets sign top pick Nimmo
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
The Mets signed Nimmo, the 13th overall selection in June's First-Year Player Draft, minutes prior to Tuesday's 12:01 a.m. ET deadline for a reported $2.1 million, stocking their farm system with a potential outfield star.
Nimmo, 18, represented an uncharacteristic risk for the Mets, who eschewed a safe selection in favor of one of the highest-upside picks in the Draft. He is an athletic outfielder with plenty of raw power, speed and hitting ability, as evidenced by his .448 average, 15 home runs and 34 stolen bases in 70 games last summer for his American Legion club.
Because Nimmo hails from Wyoming, one of three states that does not offer high school baseball, the Mets were forced to scout him at Legion games and national showcase events. General manager Sandy Alderson has said since June that he expected Nimmo's signing to brush up against the deadline, though the Mets expressed confidence throughout the process that their top pick would eventually join them. If left unsigned, Nimmo would have attended the University of Arkansas, where he had a verbal commitment.
The Mets quite literally waited until the last minute to sign last year's top pick, right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey, whose agent, Scott Boras, has a reputation for completing deadline deals.
Alderson, who maintains a home in San Diego, is expected to address the signing on Tuesday.
In the first Draft for Alderson and director of amateur scouting Paul DePodesta, Nimmo represented a stark departure from the Draft strategies of former GM Omar Minaya, who often focused on college pitchers with low talent ceilings but high floors. Nimmo has the potential to be a legitimate star, along with the greater risk of becoming nothing at all.
In landing him, the Mets were able to ink all of their top 11 Draft picks, including sandwich-rounder Michael Fulmer and second-rounder Cory Mazzoni, both right-handed pitchers. The Mets also signed third-rounder Logan Verrett minutes prior to the deadline.
The Mets also agreed to deals with 11th-round pick Christian Montgomery, 15th-round pick Phillip Evans and 16th-round pick Bradley Marquez.