PEORIA, Ariz. — Scouts typically ignore Wyoming like a 5-foot-10 righthander with an 83 mph fastball.
Not this year.
Brandon Nimmo is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound outfielder from Cheyenne East High and he's giving scouts one last look this fall at the Arizona Senior Fall Classic.
Although Nimmo has put his name on the map this summer by playing at USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars and in the Under Armour All-American Game, this tournament is important for him because scouts won't have much time to see him this spring. Wyoming doesn't have high school baseball, so Nimmo plays American Legion ball, instead. His team works out inside from November through late April, when they're able to get back outside.
"I just try and take advantage of opportunities, and this is a big opportunity," Nimmo said. "You try and not psyche yourself up and think it's bigger for me than it is for someone from SoCal, but not having quite as much of a spring as a SoCal guy, this does help."
Nimmo has a good eye at the plate, but he isn't afraid to whack the first pitch he sees, either. In his first at-bat of the event, Nimmo laced the first pitch he saw to the gap in right-center for a triple.
"That's just kind of my approach right now," he said. "It can change, but it's a showcase, so they're going to come with a fastball and you might as well hit it. The offspeed's not the funnest thing to hit in the world, so you see a fastball and hit a fastball, if they want to bring it in. That's what you do."
To stay in shape, Nimmo also runs indoor track in the winter. As a sophomore, he finished third in the state in the 200-meter dash (23.57 seconds), fourth in the state in the 400-meter dash (53.19 seconds) and 10th in the state in the 55-meter dash (6.87 seconds). But he wasn't able to run last year, because he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament playing football last fall. He was a slot receiver and a strong safety, but has given up football after the injury.
"It just happens," Nimmo said. "The one thing I can take from it, is that I was playing hard. And it's taught me a lot. I went down really low, wondering if I could play again and it's really helped me out, even though most people would say, 'Dang, I wish that didn't happen.' Well, it's actually done a lot of good things for me. It helped out my work ethic and made me appreciate being able to play everyday. Because when it's taken from you like that, you really wish you were out there again. So, it's made me appreciate all of this and I've gotten back to even better than what I was. So, it didn't hurt me that much, it helped me a bunch and I finally got the brace off."
Nimmo considered Texas and Louisville, but ultimately decided to verbally commit to Arkansas. His older brother, Bryce, played for four years at Nebraska. Bryce is eight years older than Brandon, but the younger Nimmo said the two have a great relationship.
"I didn't appreciate everything he was going through when I was young, but I appreciate it now," Nimmo said. "He's been a real help to me because he's gone through all this that I'm going through already. So, whenever I have any questions, I turn to him and I love him to death. We're still close, even though there's an eight-year difference."
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