The Sleeper Candidate - Arjun Nimmala
Arjun Nimmala, SS, HS - 6'1, 170 lbs., 17 y/o
.479 BA / .573 OBP / .904 SLG
89 PA, 35 H, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 9 stolen bases, 14 walks
Dark horse picks are supposed to be fun and unexpected, right? If I just used the 4th or 5th ranked draft prospect, what would be the fun in that? Here's my breakdown of Arjun Nimmala:
Why the Pirates Should Draft Arjun Nimmala
There are a couple of factors that I think make Arjun Nimmala an extremely interesting prospect. The first of these factors is that this kid is 17 years old. He doesn't turn 18 until October and is already considered one of the top three infielders in this year's draft class. Another factor is that the Pirates need help at 2nd base, and Arjun Nimmala can play every infield position. Sure, they just called up Nick Gonzales and 2022 4th Overall pick Termarr Johnson is tearing it up in the minor leagues, but there's no guarantee that either of those guys will have big league success. Nimmala offers a lot of time to develop an already incredible offensive and defensive tool kit, and he's got swagger and charisma that will make him a fan favorite wherever he lands.
Why the Pirates Should Not Draft Arjun Nimmala
The answer here is pretty obvious, and that is that Nimmala is way too big of a risk to spend the first overall pick on, especially in a draft class that is seemingly as stacked as this year is. Nimmala could very well end up having a career better than Crews, Skenes, or Langford, but if the Buccos use the first pick on him, Pirates fans will be storming the front office and calling for the firing of the entire staff.
To recap, I do believe it's a two-man race between Dylan Crews and Paul Skenes for the top pick in the 2023 Draft, but I think it's fun to check out some of the other options and why each player may be a better option than the next. Whatever the Pirates decide to do with the top selection on July 9th, I can't wait to cheer on the future of this franchise.