by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of ESPN.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender.
In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
Name- Arjun Nimmala
Pos-SS B-R T-R
Team- Strawberry Crest H.S. (FL)
HT/WT- 6’1” 170 lbs.
Home – Tampa, FL
Draft 412 is used to reporting on athletes that have played football or basketball and then switched to baseball. But cricket?
Arjun Nimmala was born in Florida but would make yearly trips to visit relatives in India. While in India, Nimmala played cricket with his friends and played the position of batsman. A multiple sport athlete, Nimmala also played soccer and basketball but in the end, chose baseball, where he was dominant. He broke out during this past season, hitting .479 with 6 home runs and 29 RBI’s in 25 games and was named the Florida High School Gatorade Player of the Year.
Nimmala is a year younger than most draft picks in this class, allowing scouts to project a year of growth and muscle mass on his thin body frame. He has a swing that is as powerful as anyone in this class and calls himself a “patient-aggressive hitter,” getting his money’s worth on every swing.
He has a raw power for a 17-year-old that can only get better and draws comparisons to Carlos Correa all the time. He has soft hands and can project as a future shortstop in the professional ranks. As a runner, he has above average speed on the basepaths, projecting to 15-20 stolen bases per year. Right now, scouts see his ceiling as one of the highest in this class.
Nimmala needs to improve at the plate and will swing at pitches way out of the zone. He goes through stretches of “swing and miss” at bats and hasn’t played against some of the top end competition like other prep stars do.
Watching the tape of Nimmala, his pop and power are evident when connects, recording a 420 ft. shot at age 17. Carlos Correa is the easy choice to compare to Nimmala who was also young and undersized when he went #1 overall to Houston in the 2012 draft. If Nimmala adds 20-30 lbs., there is nothing stopping his ceiling from being a 35-40 home run kind of hitter.
Arjun Nimmala is an enigma in this class. So young with so much power he can really go anywhere in the first round. Draft 412 has Nimmala at #14 and believes he will come off the board right around the middle of the first round.
Round 1- #14 on Draft 412’s big board.