There are times when a baseball scout only gets a brief look at a pitcher or player. Sometimes an evaluation is made after just one inning on the mound or one at-bat. The scout may have traveled a long way, but circumstances limit exposure to the player.
Pure geography and a cold climate limited the opportunities to scout New York Mets outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo before he was drafted. His Cheyenne East High School -- and others in the state of Wyoming, as well as those in Montana and South Dakota -- do not have high school baseball programs.
Limited opportunity brings dedication to the forefront. Students wishing to play baseball must find creative ways to play the game they love.
Nimmo participated in American Legion baseball in Wyoming. He gained the attention of scouts by posting a batting average of .448 with 84 RBIs and 15 home runs in 70 games.
If an individual can play, scouts will be on the trail.
Nimmo can play, and scouts found him.
Nimmo considered playing baseball at the University of Arkansas. His plans changed when the Mets selected him with the 13th pick in the first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Nimmo is No. 5 on New York's Top 20 Prospects list.
In the Mets' analysis, the risk-reward equation for selecting a player with no high school playing time skewed in a positive direction. They saw his outstanding physical presence, his results when he had the opportunity to play and his professional potential.
There is risk in all Draft selections. Even the most highly-touted pre-Draft players may not perform as expected.
Why not, then, select a player with the potential to be an impact outfielder for years to come? Why not select a player with raw ability and little experience, but willing to work extremely hard and learn what the organization has to teach?
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Nimmo is a line-drive, barrel-of-the-bat hitter with raw power. As he continues to learn and refine his game, his contact rate should improve markedly. He struck out 131 times in Class A this season.
There are times he takes good pitches that he should be able to drive. His bat is quick, and his hitting mechanics are sound, but I'd like to see him recognize pitches more quickly.
Nimmo is an average outfielder with a good enough arm to play either center or left field. I think he fits best in left.
After a mediocre rookie year in which he saw limited action, Nimmo had 20 doubles, six triples and six home runs at Brooklyn in the New York-Pennsylvania League in his second season. By all standards, that is not the easiest place to hit, but he managed to make his presence felt by opposing pitchers.
In 2013, playing for Class A Savannah, Nimmo hit .273 in 480 plate appearances. His 108 hits included 16 doubles, six triples and two home runs. He also stole 10 bases.
The left-handed-hitting Nimmo played left field and went to the plate twice without getting a hit in the 2013 Futures Game at Citi Field in New York.
The Mets will have to continue to be patient with Nimmo as he is exposed to better quality play while learning the intricacies of the game. In time, his raw abilities will convert to increased self-confidence and better overall results.
Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff; on Twitter.