With the 2023 MLB Draft approaching, we'll write about some prospects who could be an Oriole by the end of the day one of the draft on July 9. In this piece, let's look at the prep shortstop Arjun Nimmala.
Could Arjun Nimmala be selected by the Orioles in the first round of the draft?
Nimmala was on Birdland's radar since Keith Law released his last two mock drafts on The Athletic. Nimmala is the #11 on top 250 draft prospects. And this guy can hit.
In 2023, he had a .479 batting average with six Home Runs, 29 RBI, 30 runs scored and a .904 slugging percentage. He was elected the Gatorade Player of The Year in Florida, Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-American, Under Armor All-American, First Team All-Conference and Wade Boggs Athletic Achievement Award.
His high school head coach, Victor Martinez, said this about Nimmala:
"“Arjun Nimmala is one of the best high school baseball players I’ve ever seen. He’s the overall package. Very good hands and feet, and the arm (strength) to make every throw. He’s got plus power and makes a lot of hard contact.”"
Per MLB Pipeline, his overall grade is 55. His best attributes are 'Power' and 'Arm', all with 55 grade. 'Hit', 'Run' and 'Field' is 50. Check out more here. Some discussions about the Florida State recruit are if he'll be a first round draft choice. In the latest mock on MLB Pipeline, Jim Callis put him as a Cubs draft choice at 13th overall.
Why would the Orioles select Nimmala?
It's the first draft outside the top five for Baltimore in the Mike Elias regime. It'll be the lowest bonus pool with $10,534,800 (14th most). The Orioles will have all regular picks plus a Competitive Balance Round B (63rd) and a third round compensation (100th) after failing to sign Nolan McLean last year.
In 2022, Elias pulled the trigger with Jackson Holliday and almost one year later, the prep shortstop is the #1 prospect in all baseball. No pressure, Arjun.
Jokes aside, Elias could use the same underslot strategy again this year. With a lower bonus, Elias and company could repeat the 2020 and 2021 drafts, with the first round pick being less expensive and attacking in later rounds, especially on day two (2021, Credd Willems) and even day three (2022, Carter Young).
This section is dedicated to compare a current or former Oriole with the 2023 draft prospect. For Nimmala, he is the... Ryan Mountcastle, with more upside with the bat.