This year in the 2023 MLB draft, the Blue Jays drafted shortstop Arjun Nimmala out of Tampa Bay, Florida in the first round. The Blue Jays selected the shortstop at No. 20 overall. He comes from Strawberry Crest High School in Dover, Florida, and is batting .479 with six home runs, 29 RBIs, and 30 runs in his senior high school season. But aside from the number he puts up, there are some other interesting facts about him.
Three Noteworthy Facts About Blue Jays Prospect Arjun Nimmala
Young Role Model
When it comes to players of Indian descent in major league baseball, well it just hasn’t happened. But Nimmala has made history by being the first player of Indian descent picked in the first round. And he is putting it first on his list to become the first player of Indian descent to play major league baseball.
When it comes to Indians, “Cricket” is more of their go-to sport but Nimmala is looking to inspire more Indian-Americans to get into baseball. If you’ve seen the movie “Million Dollar Arm,” then you know that there is a market for transforming cricket players into baseball players. Arjun Nimmala is one of the youngest prospects in the draft at just 17 years old.
His love for baseball comes from his father who was striving to search for a sport that was just like cricket. In 2005 when Nimmala was born, he, Balu, and his mother, Neeru, resided in Florida. For the Nimmalas baseball was something new for them, but as Arjun embraced the sport, so did his family. It is nice to see how people are expanding their horizons.
"My parents…they just wanted to give their kids an opportunity to achieve everything they want and to be successful in life."
Arjun Nimmala has a chance to become the first player of Indian descent to play in Major League Baseball. pic.twitter.com/YfjNwt9loz
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 6, 2023
Comparable to Alfonso Soriano
From an offensive standpoint, Alfonso Soriano has come up as a similar comparison to Nimmala. This idea comes from him being 6-foot-1. In addition, he describes himself as a powerful hitter with a lot of arm strength, who is able to drive balls into all areas of the field. As a right-handed hitter, Nimmala is set to display quite a remarkable impact as he plays with a lot of poise for a young player, and is projected to be a 25-30 home run hitter at his position of shortstop.
— MLB Draft Room (@MLBDraftRoom) June 29, 2023
Worked out with Francisco Lindor of the Mets
What makes Nimmala stand out and mature as a player is that he worked out with Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets in the off-season. After working out closely with Arjun Nimmala this past winter, Lindor mentioned that he thought that he could be like a role model for Nimmala and that he saw a bit of himself in him. It is always nice when players can bond and sustain a close relationship and help one another in their careers. Nimmala could learn a lot from the pros and one day he will call himself one.
Nimmala’s Making History
The Jays will likely have to be patient with Nimmala so he can adjust to a pro-level as he is so young and will need to alter his swing. But shortstops that contain big-time power aren’t just readily available and they don’t just grow on trees. Luckily, the Jays are grateful to have drafted him because he could be the first Indian-American slugger in Major League Baseball.
Nimmala’s strength and inclination at shortstop should provide him with every chance to remain with the Jays on a long-term basis. But his offensive asset is what has people talking especially scouts. The Blue Jays have strong faith in Nimmala for his offensive spark and because of this he automatically becomes a popular name in the farm system. The Blue Jays will focus on the prospect depth they have in trades as they look to gain traction and success with their talented core.
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