Instead of going the safe route with a college player that will jump through their system quickly or a pitcher from any level in what is seen as a pitching-rich draft, the New York Mets took a big risk Monday night in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft by selecting high school OF Brandon Nimmo from Cheyenne East in Wyoming with their first selection, 13th overall.
Nimmo is a player you only draft if you really trust your scouting department. Wyoming is one of three states that does not have high school baseball, so he had to get exposure on the local American Legion team and All-Star games like the Under-Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field.
It was at that All-Star game that Nimmo make scouts take notice, going 2-for-4 with two RBI to take home co-MVP honors.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Nimmo is only the 12th player from Wyoming ever drafted and now the highest.
Nimmo is the first high school outfielder chosen by the Mets since Lastings Milledge, but will he ever put on a New York uniform?
He has signed to play for Arkansas this fall and his father talked to the Wyoming News before the draft about the tough choice ahead.
"What if his number's too high?"
That number is the signing bonus that would be required to keep him away from college, reportedly it is upwards of $3 million. According to Nimmo, floating a number that high to teams was so they realized just what it would take to get a deal done.
"College is a great experience and you won't get that again. I could go back to college if pro ball doesn't work out, but I could be 25 or 26 and it wouldn't be the same."
We are going to find out real quick if the Mets are starting to come out of their financial issues thanks to the influx of cash from new minority owner David Einhorn. Certainly you would think GM Sandy Alderson wouldn't have taken such a big risk if he didn't think he would be able to get Nimmo's name on a contract.
All signs point to Mets fans having the right to be pretty excited right now. Sure, Nimmo may never pan out as a player, but if he signs it will be great news for the franchise's immediate future.