1995 TOPPS Paul Wilson

By now everyone knows the Mets took Brandon Nimmo as their first-round pick in the 2011 Draft. Everyone talks about his upside and it’s nice to have a hitter with upside in the system. Now we’re hoping that he turns into the next Darryl Strawberry or David Wright. But those guys had something that I fear Nimmo doesn’t – a ballplayer’s name.

I mean no disrespect, but Brandon Nimmo doesn’t roll off the tongue. It’s far too easy to go sophomoric and imagine that the neighborhood kids called him “Nimrod.”

But the Mets can tell you that a great name doesn’t guarantee greatness. We need to look no further than Paul Wilson for proof of that.

Many of you know the story of Paul Wilson. If you don’t he was the first overall pick in the 1994 Draft and he was going to lead the Mets to glory. If everything had gone according to plan, Wilson would be winding down a Hall of Fame career right about now. Instead he’s been out of baseball for six years.

In 1995, Wilson split his time between Double-A and Triple-A and put up this line in 186.2 IP:

11-6, 2.41 ERA, 148 H, 44 BB, 194 Ks, 8 HR, 1.029 WHIP

It’s hard to look back at those numbers and not feel sad all over again. But pitchers get hurt all of the time and we shouldn’t be surprised that it happened to Wilson. So perhaps it’s good that the Mets spent their first-round pick on a hitter rather than a pitcher.

Just remember that the team also took luminaries such as Rob Stratton, Ryan Jaroncyk, Al Shirley, Alan Zinter, Chris Donnels, Lee May, Shawn Abner, Eddie Williams, Stan Jefferson, Terry Blocker, Billy Beane, John Gibbons, Butch Benton, Rich Puig and Steve Chilcott as hitters in the first round.

So, good luck Nimrod. May it all work out for you better than it did for Wilson.

4 comments on “Mets Card of the Week: 1995 Paul Wilson

  • Barbella

    I actually like the name, Finding Nimmo. I’m just worried about the Nimrods in Mess organization. To your point, it seemed Matt Barnes was the choice, and available at 13. He’s a college pitcher, so position of need with more evidence he’ll mature into a big leaguer, and faster. Yet, DePodesta and Alderson don’t suck. Sandy even waived the slotting crap that he helped institute, which only help serve the Yankees and Red Sox, while Fred Wilpon sucked up to Selig. Plus, the kid could give us the lefty power bat, tomorrow that we desperately need today.

  • Doug

    Ugh–that list of first-round busts hurt all over again. But I’m with Barbella– I like the name.

    And FWIW, I also like the name “Barbella”…

  • Brian Joura

    Yeah – Barbella definitely sounds like the name of a ballplayer. And Nimmo would be ok if it was paired with a different first name.

    • Charlie Hangley

      Or a good nickname: “Buster” Nimmo sounds good.

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