PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Brandon Nimmo, the 13th overall pick in last year's draft, showed up Wednesday at the Mets' complex stronger and wiser than when he made his first trip to Florida at the end of last summer.
Nimmo played seven games for the GCL Mets before playing three more at Kingsport, Tenn., and felt a bit overmatched at each stop. But Nimmo doesn't expect that to continue after adding 12 pounds this offseason and working out at the University of Arkansas in the five weeks leading up to the Mets' STEP program for the top non-camp prospects.
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"I definitely feel like I'm just even or even better -- I think that I'm no farther back in my process than anyone else," Nimmo said. "I don't mean to sound cocky, but I feel like I'm advanced where I'm supposed to be.
"I know some people think that taking me in that No. 13 spot was maybe a little high, but I don't feel that way. I feel like they took me there for a reason and I know what that reason is. I can handle this, I feel like I'm advanced in a lot of areas, and I learn very quickly and will. I take instruction well."
The Mets gave Nimmo a $2.1-million signing bonus, but he turns 19 later this month, so the outfielder's development will take time.
"It's different here," Nimmo said. "The ball moves more, it comes faster, the velocity is deceptive. It's a very fast game, but by the end of [last year], it was much slower and I was getting a lot more comfortable with it."
Johan Santana will throw his first session of live batting practice Thursday . . . A team official said that Pudge Rodriguez had contacted the Mets about a backup job, but they don't believe he's a fit for them and is not likely to be in the future.