He hit just a combined .211 in ten games between the Gulf Coast League and Kingsport Mets, and while he did club his first two professional home runs, he struck out 14 times.
"It was great to get into that," Nimmo said of his pro ball baptism, "and I'm going to be going back for three more weeks for Instructs. What I've learned are the basics – the game is a lot faster, the balls move a lot more.
"It's just an adjustment being from Legion ball where I hit like .551 this year to going to pro ball where I think I hit .241 in St. Lucie. You have to deal with a lot more failure.
"You realize that some balls that were hits during the summer [in Legion ball] aren't hits anymore. Now there are shortstops, second basemen, third basemen, they're a lot faster, have stronger arms, and get to a lot more balls; the same with the outfielders. You just learn that you still need to get a lot better."
It's a humbling right of passage for any talented baseball player making his professional debut, especially for one as young as Nimmo.
"You think you know a lot about baseball when you go through it for 18 years and then you get there and then you learn ‘I don't know the first thing about baseball'," he said "There's a lot more to learn. You just kind of get a feel for what you need to do to get better.
"There's always ways to get better and [experiencing] failure is one of those ways to get better. It's good motivation to make yourself bigger, stronger, and faster in the offseason, and work on your weaknesses."
It wasn't as if the 18-year old was overmatched, but it is always a good sign when a younger player can learn how to deal with not excelling right out of the proverbial gate.
"I felt like I didn't do terrible. There were stretches where I did do terrible. There was one stretch where I was 0-8 with seven strikeouts and I was like, ‘holy cow, this has never happened to me before'. But you have to learn how to deal with that. I feel like getting that experience was great.
"You have to learn how to deal with that and there were points where I did well. My last game there I went 3-3 with two walks and a home run. There are ups and downs, and it's just learning how to deal with that more. I feel like I got a great feeling for it. I got my feet wet."
Nimmo now admits to he got into some bad habits pretty quickly upon starting his pro career, including what he describes as being "top-hand lazy" on trying to drive outside pitches. Astute enough to pick up on that, however, he also says he is really looking forward to making that correction during Instructs.
"I'm so excited," he said emphatically. "This is what I want to do and this is where I want to be, I want to be playing professional baseball. I absolutely love this game.
"Just getting out there and being able to play everyday and get better, it gets me so excited. From what I'm told, Instructs is going to be a little more individual of getting you better.
"I'm excited to hear what all of the coordinators and coaches have to say and I'm going to be like a sponge and soak it all up, and do my best to get better and work on those things to become a Major Leaguer. That's where we want to end up in a few years. I'm excited about it and I'm ready to get back out there."
Learning the nuances of the running game to become a better base stealer is atop his priority list for Instructs, as is his continued exposure to professional pitching. But more than anything, now that he has gotten his feet wet a little bit at the professional level, he wants to start playing like himself again.
"A more successful Instructs for me would be taking down some of those strikeouts that I had in those two weeks – it doesn't have to be statistical, it just has to be that I'm playing more like myself," he said.
"The last time out, you're getting your feet wet and you're still not sure about it all, and at some points I didn't feel like I was playing like myself. I think it will be more of a judgment of how I did rather than statistical numbers.
"If I hit the ball hard and I get out a lot, I'm still going to be okay with that if I'm hitting the ball hard and still learning. How much better did I get in this time? That's what I'm looking for.
"I have no doubt that I'm going to get great instruction and I'm going to get better in these next three weeks. I'd like to start playing like myself and hit the ball hard, and reducing those strikeouts," he concluded.
First round pick Brandon Nimmo saw action in just ten games with some modest numbers along the way. Now that he has gotten his feet wet a little bit at the professional level, he says he wants to start playing more like himself at Instructs.
Nimmo Looking To Be More Like Himself
Brandon Nimmo got his feet wet in pro ball this season and now he wants to be himself at Instructs.
Nimmo wants to work on his running game
Sep 19, 2011