By the end of short-season A-ball with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2012, Brandon Nimmo was tired.
Sure, most guys are, but it wasn't just the physical aspect. He had a lot to get used to, coming straight into the force of nature that is the New York media, and being in the city environment. The Wyoming native had to adjust his body and his mind to many situations that he wasn't quite ready for. That took it's toll on the then eighteen-year-old.
"It was less taxing this year" Nimmo said by phone from his Wyoming home. "Going into Brooklyn, and the media, and just the culture change, it took a while. It's a different life. But I also did things more on my own this year, as far as things I needed to take care of at the ballpark."
His growth led to a solidly successful season in Class-A Savannah. He played 110 games for the Sand Gnats (after playing 69 for Brooklyn), finishing with 108 hits, 40 RBI, 70 walks, and sixteen doubles for the Sand Gnats. He finished August hitting .324, with a .472 OBP, and .412 SLG percentage, leading into a South Atlantic Championship win in four games over the Hagerstown Suns (Nationals).
The Mets 2011 first round selection (thirteenth overall) entered this season ranked 4th in the system by MLB.com. After his professional debut, he went home and devoted himself to losing weight. He came to camp leaner. Stronger. His body and mind felt different as the regular season began.
"Yeah, I worked on toning up and reducing fat. Going into the season I was better prepared physically. I definitely carried my body more."
Mentally he was tougher as well, and he needed to be. 2013 marked the first time he'd dealt with injuries (hand). That challenge and others were new adjustments. He was learning how to more quickly adapt to those challenges.
"This year was about dealing with nagging injuries, pain, bus rides, and maintaining my weight when I'm eating at midnight and going right to bed."
His approach at the plate was improved, as was his ability at his position. The center fielder says his comfort in the outfield increased with better footwork and reads on balls.
"I covered more ground. And with faster feet, I'm not having to think."
At the plate, it is simple and complicated. Thinking a lot there is not helpful either. He was able to slow the game down and not put added pressure on himself.
"I simplified. It's simplifying to just react. I saw more pitches, as I did last year, and learned with every at-bat."
You can follow Brandon Nimmo on Twitter @You_Found_Nimmo.