Nimmo Growing Up Fast

SAVANNAH, GA - Savannah Sand Gnats' centerfielder and rising star Brandon Nimmo finished the 2012 season on a tear and now he is getting stronger. During his tenure with the Brooklyn Cyclones last season, Nimmo got off to a slow start before catching fire at the plate in August and he spent his offseason making sure he was ready for the start of the 2013 campaign.

Coming into the season, Nimmo wanted to become a more consistent, powerful hitter. He traveled to Arkansas for his offseason training where he worked heavily on his strength and agility.

"Got stronger, I didn't really put on a whole lot of weight but I knocked down the body fat a little bit to try and carry it better. I just tried to stay pretty athletic," Nimmo said.

"It was mainly just getting stronger and a little more agile, to try and steal a few more bases. I came back strong and ready for the season."

Batting against left-handed pitchers was also a major focus for Nimmo in the offseason. He wanted to make minor adjustments to his swing, which would allow him to get around on lefties. He worked with Detroit Tigers' pitcher Drew Smyly during his time in Arkansas.

"Stay in there, trust your hands and just make sure you see that ball all the way in. Make sure that you're slowing things down and try not to make it tougher than it is," Nimmo said Smyly told him.

"We worked on a couple things in the offseason. Little bit of a different load, stretching a little bit more with the swing but really not very big changes. I feel pretty comfortable about my swing right now.

"I think that I've improved a lot and there is still a lot of room to improve, it's going to come with seeing more lefties."

Nimmo's growth showed in Spring Training. Team manager Luis Rojas and hitting coach Joel Fuentes praised Nimmo's growth, both physically and mentally.

"Recognition of pitches at the plate and his defense is outstanding right now, he played really good defense in the spring and I think he is going to keep getting better," Rojas said.

"Brandon is an outstanding kid. From last year to this spring training, he is making a lot of adjustments. He's grown up so fast," Fuentes said proudly.

The 2013 season with the Sand Gnats will be a test of Nimmo's abilities, physically and mentally. Through 69 games played in 2012, Nimmo hit .248 to go along with six home runs and 40 RBIs.

"I want him to learn how to hit the ball. I just want to make sure he stays on the line and tries to drive the balls," Fuentes said.

"I think he's physically ready, he got ready in the offseason for it. The mental part of going through it is going to help, because he actually needs to be in it to live through it and now I think he's going to get the strength out of it," Rojas added.

"He's gonna go through his ups and downs. Every big leaguer has gone through this process when they hit their first full season."

"I'm going to have an adjustment period this year," Nimmo said. "Just learn to stay positive, stay mentally tough and just persevere and just grind it out. The faster we'll get over that little hump and on to the next obstacle."

Although he has put in the work in the offseason, Nimmo knows he isn't done working.

"Being focused in everything you do, I think that's really one of the things I need to work on," Nimmo said. "I think if you hit .260 here you're doing pretty good.

"Most people think .300 is that mark that you need to hit average-wise. This is a big park, the ball's going to stay up a lot. So a lot of things aren't going to fall that would normally fall on a regular field."

Last Thursday's opener versus the Rome Braves was definitely a move in the right direction for Nimmo. He went 2-3 at the plate, picked up one walk and scored one run, and has hit safely in each of his first five games overall.

"If I can just go out and have fun and play the game that I know the way that I can then this will be a successful year," Nimmo concluded.


Northsiders Report Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nComing into the season, Nimmo wanted to become a more consistent, powerful hitter. He traveled to Arkansas for his offseason training where he worked heavily on his strength and agility.
\r\n
\r\n\"Got stronger, I didn't really put on a whole lot of weight but I knocked down the body fat a little bit to try and carry it better. I just tried to stay pretty athletic,\" Nimmo said.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was mainly just getting stronger and a little more agile, to try and steal a few more bases. I came back strong and ready for the season.\"
\r\n
\r\nBatting against left-handed pitchers was also a major focus for Nimmo in the offseason. He wanted to make minor adjustments to his swing, which would allow him to get around on lefties. He worked with Detroit Tigers' pitcher Drew Smyly during his time in Arkansas.
\r\n
\r\n\"Stay in there, trust your hands and just make sure you see that ball all the way in. Make sure that you're slowing things down and try not to make it tougher than it is,\" Nimmo said Smyly told him.
\r\n
\r\n\"We worked on a couple things in the offseason. Little bit of a different load, stretching a little bit more with the swing but really not very big changes. I feel pretty comfortable about my swing right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think that I've improved a lot and there is still a lot of room to improve, it's going to come with seeing more lefties.\"
\r\n
\r\nNimmo's growth showed in Spring Training. Team manager Luis Rojas and hitting coach Joel Fuentes praised Nimmo's growth, both physically and mentally.
\r\n
\r\n\"Recognition of pitches at the plate and his defense is outstanding right now, he played really good defense in the spring and I think he is going to keep getting better,\" Rojas said.
\r\n
\r\n\"Brandon is an outstanding kid. From last year to this spring training, he is making a lot of adjustments. He's grown up so fast,\" Fuentes said proudly.
\r\n
\r\nThe 2013 season with the Sand Gnats will be a test of Nimmo's abilities, physically and mentally. Through 69 games played in 2012, Nimmo hit .248 to go along with six home runs and 40 RBIs.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want him to learn how to hit the ball. I just want to make sure he stays on the line and tries to drive the balls,\" Fuentes said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he's physically ready, he got ready in the offseason for it. The mental part of going through it is going to help, because he actually needs to be in it to live through it and now I think he's going to get the strength out of it,\" Rojas added.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's gonna go through his ups and downs. Every big leaguer has gone through this process when they hit their first full season.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm going to have an adjustment period this year,\" Nimmo said. \"Just learn to stay positive, stay mentally tough and just persevere and just grind it out. The faster we'll get over that little hump and on to the next obstacle.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough he has put in the work in the offseason, Nimmo knows he isn't done working.
\r\n
\r\n\"Being focused in everything you do, I think that's really one of the things I need to work on,\" Nimmo said. \"I think if you hit .260 here you're doing pretty good.
\r\n
\r\n\"Most people think .300 is that mark that you need to hit average-wise. This is a big park, the ball's going to stay up a lot. So a lot of things aren't going to fall that would normally fall on a regular field.\"
\r\n
\r\nLast Thursday's opener versus the Rome Braves was definitely a move in the right direction for Nimmo. He went 2-3 at the plate, picked up one walk and scored one run, and has hit safely in each of his first five games overall.
\r\n
\r\n\"If I can just go out and have fun and play the game that I know the way that I can then this will be a successful year,\" Nimmo concluded.
\r\n
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