2. Arjun Nimmala- ROK (Previous Rank: 2)
18 y.o / RHH / SS
Nimmala was #9 on the JaysProspectus draft board and he fell to the Blue Jays at #20. He oozes projection not just because he's incredibly young but because of his body, swing, and background. He's already hitting the ball hard because of his hands and bat speed and the natural loft in his swing means that it is often in the air. With obvious physical growth to come, Nimmala could be a 30+ home run masher one day. Rookie ball pitching can be noncompetitive at times but his gargantuan 35% BB% in his pro debut is encouraging considering his chase rate was a concern pre-draft. He can struggle with picking up spin and will swing and miss quite a lot against it especially on the outer half of the zone. Considering his youth this is hardly a surprise. I'm optimistic that Nimmala will continue to improve his pitch recognition and tracking with more experience. Single-A will be a big test for the 18 year old and he'll look to keep his strikeout rate below 25% like in Rookie Ball. Nimmala runs fairly well and has the range, arm, and skills to stick at shortstop long term. Depending how he grows into his body he could slow down and end up moving to third base where he'd likely profile as an above average defender. There's a "Goldilocks zone" where he maintains the mobility to play shortstop while hitting for huge power. It's unusual to rank a prospect of this variance this high on a list but Nimmala has the prestige and projection you look for in this spot.