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Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2023 Draft: Arjun Nimmala

Looking at another prep star for Arizona to target in the 2023 draft.

Name: Arjun Nimmala
School: Strawberry Crest, FL
Position: SS
Height/Weight: 6’1″, 170 lbs
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: October 16, 2005
Committed: Florida State
Comp: Alfonso Soriano, Francisco Lindor


Hit: 50 Power: 55+ Run: 50 Field: 55 Arm: 55 Overall: 55

The Rundown|

One of the first thing that stands out when looking at the draft case for Arjun Nimmala is that he is one of the youngest players in the 2023 class. He will still be 17 on draft day. As an underclassman, Nimmala made a name for himself with his impressive defensive aptitude in the middle infield, but as he’s added strength to his wiry frame, his tools have taken a jump and so has his draft stock. Of the prep class (and possibly even compared to the entire draft class), Nimmala has some of the very best defensive tools to be seen. However, there are many who believe that he will physically mature himself off of short and to the hot corner, where his soft hands and strong arm will allow him to be a plus or possibly even plus-plus defender. While still physically underdeveloped, Nimmala already checks in at 6’1” and 170 lbs. Chances are, future development will include size gains in both height and weight. If so, Nimmala may find himself hard-pressed to remain at short long-term despite having the physical tools for the position.

The upside to Nimmala’s size and age is that there is still more room for his tools to grow as well. Currently, Nimmala uses his wiry frame to produce a quick, whip-like stroke that generates a surprising amount of raw power. If Nimmala fills out physically without losing his quick-twitch hands, he should graduate into easy plus power.

Last season, Nimmala hit .479 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 25 games for the Strawberry Crest Chargers en route to being named Florida’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year. Additionally, Nimmala was also a Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-American and an Under Armour All-American along with being a First Team All-Conference selection. Adding yet more accolades, Nimmala also won the Wade Boggs Athletic Achievement Award. In the field, Nimmala committed 15 errors across 77 high school games. Meanwhile, on the bases, he managed 31 stolen bases in those same 77 games.

The biggest knock in Nimmala’s current game is his pitch selection and ability to handle breaking pitches away. There are still vestiges of his cricket swing in his bat which, while allowing him to punish pitches middle-in with vicious regularity, leaves him exposed to pitches away that continue to move away from his body. This hole in his game held Nimmala back on prospect boards for a while. Then, this last spring, Nimmala began working on his hitting more and showed signs that he is going to be able to adapt to higher level pitching. This adjustment has catapulted Nimmala up draft boards across the industry as there is now a growing consensus that his bat will be just fine, something that needs to hold true if it ever comes to pass that he moves to third from short. He is currently ranked 29th overall at Fangraphs, 19th at Baseball America, and 11th at MLB Pipeline. Keith Law mocks him to be taken #17 in the draft, though others have Nimmala going as high as #9.

Nimmala participated in and gave an interview during the recent draft combine. Here is the interview, courtesy of

The Bard’s Take|

As Keith Law so aptly points out in his mock draft reasoning, Nimmala would be a top-tier draft prospect if his hit tool had matured a bit faster, as he would then demonstrate present plus grades in hitting, power, and defense at a skilled, up-the-middle position. Instead, Nimmala’s age and the timing of his hit development has placed him in a secondary tier, one that projects the same level of plus tools at a premium position, but that also comes with a longer timeframe for development and thus, also more risk than some of the other bats that will go earlier in the draft. NImmala is arguably the best prep shortstop in the draft and, if he sticks at the position after growing, could potentially be the best shortstop overall. Compared with Colin Houk, Nimmala brings a better defensive upside and considerably more power at the plate. On the other hand, his hitting is not as refined as Houck’s and there are the lingering concerns that Nimmala may still slide over to third because of his potential future size.

As with Houck, there are no draft opol savings to be found by taking Nimmala at #12. With some boards having Nimmala as a borderline top-10 talent, anyone drafting him is going to need to pony up if they want to keep him from honouring his commitment to the Seminoles.

Next up: Aidan Miller