Q&A with Mets 1st Round Pick Brandon Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo - The Mets top pick in 2011

With their top pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the New York Mets selected outfielder Brandon Nimmo. In this exclusive Q&A with InsidePitchMagazine.com, Nimmo details his draft day excitement, his atypical prep days, the best parts of his game, areas he needs to work on, his thoughts on joining the Mets organization and much more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: First off, congratulations on being the Mets first pick this year. Can you just offer a glimpse at your feelings going so high in the draft and joining the Mets organization?

Brandon Nimmo: I'm so excited. It's a great honor to be the Mets first pick. I couldn't believe it was happening as it was happening. My family just kept it small and some close friends, and we were just watching the draft. We felt like [the Mets] were the first opportunity [to get drafted], but it had been real quiet. We hadn't heard anything or got any calls. My brother was on Skype and I guess he had a quicker TV or something because it was quiet and then we heard him yell through the computer. I looked at our TV and Bud Selig says my name, my name flashed on the TV, and it was just awesome.

When that moment hit, a bunch of adrenaline went through me, and it felt like winning the biggest game I ever played in. I almost teared up because it was such a big moment for me and my family. I just want to thank the Mets for having confidence in me and I'm going to work as hard as I can to live up to their trust in me as this pick.

Inside Pitch: Your name was tied to a few teams leading up to the draft. Did you have confidence that it would ultimately be the Mets that picked you or did you have a range or a few teams you thought you might end up?

Nimmo: No matter where I got picked it was going to be a surprise. But really, the Mets had been at all my games this spring. They were the last team to see me play last weekend. They had a couple representatives up here right before the draft, watching me hit and talking with me. I started getting feelers that they liked me. Then those mock drafts come out and you can't help but look at them. A later one had me going to the Mets with the thought that they really liked me. I kind of had a feeling, but I was still surprised a little bit just because I hadn't heard anything the night of, but the Mets were a team interested the whole time and I was interested in going to the Mets.

Inside Pitch: You prep background had made some headlines because you didn't have the typical opportunity to play high school ball given its lack in your home state of Wyoming. Did that make you work any harder? Does that give you any more motivation because you've had a bit of different road to get here?

Nimmo: I think it's made me a real hard worker to get to this point because I had to make up for the reps that I didn't get playing in a regular high school league. In the winters – and the spring for that matter – when guys in Texas, Florida and California are getting their reps year round, it made me work that much harder. I was fortunate enough to have a barn in my backyard that my dad had built. That's where I got my hacks everyday in the winter and the spring. That helped out, but I had to put in the hours. When those guys are going to practice everyday, I went in for hacks. The only part I'd miss out on was long toss and keeping my arm strong throughout the winter. That's ok though because I didn't want to use up my arm. I haven't known any different, but I'm excited and I'm looking forward to getting my at-bats in the minor leagues.

Inside Pitch: As an amateur player moving on to the professional level, what areas do you think are your strongest right now and what parts of your game do you think you will focus on first?

Nimmo: I think getting bigger, stronger and faster is a priority. I definitely feel like I have some pounds I could put on that will help my power. I can hit the ball out of the park, but I want to do it on a more consistent basis. I just want to make everything more consistent – the way that I do everything. My swing, making contact, how I throw from the outfield, my reads on balls – it's going to take me focusing on everything to get to where I want to be. Specifically, I know I can work on my footwork in the outfield. I know I can get better reads on fly balls and physically building my strength.

Inside Pitch: You come from Wyoming. With the Mets, everything is East Coast whether it's the big league club or the minor league side. What do you think that adjustment may be like for you?

Nimmo: It'll be different. I've gone to the East Coast and played a couple of times. I played at the Tournament of Stars in North Carolina. I got to experience playing in the humidity and the heat, but I kind of liked it because it took much less time to get warmed up compared to Wyoming. I feel like you can step off the bus there and be ready to go. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a different scene, but it won't change how I play the game or the effort I put in. It won't be the wide open plains or the mountains of Wyoming, but it'll be a great new experience and I'm excited for it.

Inside Pitch: As for off the field stuff, growing up, who was your favorite team and favorite player?

Nimmo: Well I guess my favorite team now is the Mets (laughs). Because my family is in Wyoming, we followed the Rockies really closely growing up. My favorite player, being in this region, is Troy Tulowitzki. I love the way he plays the game. He plays the game hard, 100 percent all the time. He never holds anything back and he's a real tough competitor. He has all the talent in the world. He could let up at any day but he gets after it every day.

Inside Pitch: As an amateur player, do you have a best baseball moment that stands out?

Nimmo: Being at the Under Armour Game at Wrigley Field [in 2010] and winning the MVP, that was a very surreal moment. The year before I watched it on TV and didn't think I'd be in that position and one year later I end up with a co-MVP. That was a great moment. I got to challenge myself against the best. I won't forget that for a long time. It was a great moment for me and my family.

Inside Pitch: Leading up to the draft there was talks about your ties to Arkansas. At this stage, what are your thoughts about signing with the Mets and starting your career right away?

Nimmo: I'm going to let the business part decides itself. We'll take care of that later. I've always wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. We'll let that settle itself. I do have a commitment to Arkansas, but I am very excited about being a member of the New York Mets.

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