Nimmo Learning To Grind Through It

Nimmo feels well prepared for 2013

It might not have been the first full season former first round pick Brandon Nimmo had been expecting in 2012, hitting just .248 for the Brooklyn Cyclones and striking out 78 times in 69 games. However, he says that he learned a ton through his first-year struggles, so much so that he believes he is really prepared for his first taste of the long-season leagues coming up next season.

"I felt like it went pretty well," Nimmo said of his 2012 campaign. "Obviously I started off pretty slow. I had a lot of adjusting to do, a lot of learning to do. It was really good for me to experience that failure and learn how to grind through it.

"Towards the end [of the season] the game started to slow down a little bit more for me. It took just a little bit of time for the game to slow down and for me to calm down a little bit, and just go back to having fun again playing the game.

"Once that happened it's kind of like a light bulb went on and I started to play really well. I was really happy with how the year went."

It's never easy for any young teenager playing in a league against much older competitors, especially when you have to get accustomed to the daily rigors of seeing very talented pitchers each day, a circumstance that the Wyoming native was never really exposed to growing up.

Hidden by his rather pedestrian numbers, however, was a huge disparity in his success against right-handed pitchers and the lackthereof against lefties. He hit a solid .279 against right-handers and a paltry .191 against lefties.

"It's just like when I came into pro ball last year, it was a huge jump," he said. "Normally I've faced a lot more righties than I have lefties -- not a lot of guys see lefties who throw 90 something and have good breaking balls and changeups [in high school].

"Obviously that's a big change for me but I'm pretty confident that just like with the righties -- I'm real comfortable with them now -- the more I see lefties the better I'll be against them. I'm not to worried about it.

"By the end of the year I was a lot better off of them so I'm not too worried about it. But yeah, early on the lefties were kicking my butt. I'm not too worried about it but obviously it was a big change."

The fact is he never would have known what adjustment was needed against lefties had he not gone through those kinds of struggles against them and he began to make the adjustment at season's end and into Instructional League by taking batting practice off of left-handers more than right-handers.

Fans and the media have more expectations on such talented youngsters as they begin their professional careers, but the players themselves can't really have any because they haven't lived through it yet. Nimmo got that experience in 2012 and he says he wouldn't have changed a thing.

"Not a damn thing," he said emphatically. "Everything that happens, happens for a reason and needed to happen. That failure part, it needed to happen. Coach Rich Donneylly says the game is made up of two people; those who are about to be humbled or those who are humble.

"I got to experience being more humbled and that was good for me. You've got to learn how to deal with that failure because you're going to go through it and you've got to learn how to grind through it.

"Towards the end of the season I did well and got a lot of confidence and finished up in Instructs and had a lot of confidence there. It really went well into the offseason.

"There's nothing that I would have changed," he reiterated. "Everything that did happen needed to happen to me and I'm just focused on now and getting ready for next season."

With the year that he had and the experiences that he went through, including Extended Spring Training and Instructs, he feels he is better prepared now for the long-season leagues to be the kind of impact player he wants to be.

"Oh yeah, definitely. After this year I know what I'm getting into. I know how to prepare my body. There's a lot of things that you learn in that first year that are going to help me so much in long-season league next year.

"I'm pretty confident that I'm going to be a lot more prepared for this upcoming season and when things come at me I'll be better prepared how to handle them.

"I definitely feel good and confident about handling the long-season [leagues] next year. We'll see how it all turns out but I'm definitely more prepared," he concluded.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories