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.