Mighty Mussels’ Niklas Rimmel pitching his way from Germany

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Baseball is a very centralized sport. Most MLB players come from only a handful of countries. The United States, Dominican Republic and Venezuela top the list.

However, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels have a pitching prospect that grew up halfway across the world from those hotbeds.

Niklas Rimmel, a right-handed relief pitcher, was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. It was there that he went against the grain and fell in love with the sport of baseball.

“I started with baseball when I was nine years old,” Rimmel said. “[My dad] used to play when he was younger.”

So Rimmel followed in his father’s footsteps. A couple years later, he realized that he was better than the majority of his teammates and could make a career out of it. So, off Rimmel went to a German baseball academy where the country’s top players competed at.

Rimmel played there and on the German youth national teams.

“I’m actually very thankful for it,” Rimmel said. “We traveled to so many international tournaments. We saw so much baseball out there, at such a young age which helped a lot.”

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Despite being in a country where not many major league scouts pay attention too, Rimmel caught the eye of the Minnesota Twins. In 2017, he signed with the organization and came to Fort Myers.

Rimmel then spent the next couple years with the complex team at Hammond Stadium. He used that time to work on his craft and soak up all the information possible “like how to pitch, how to attack hitters, how to get them out.”

In 2022, Rimmel got his shot. He was called up to affiliated ball and joined the Mighty Mussels. In his first season, he has been impressing his coaches.

“He’s very straightforward, very businesslike and focused,” Mighty Mussels Pitching Coach Jared Gaynor said. “He’s a competitor.”

Although Rimmel is here in Southwest Florida, he still looks back on where he came from.

“We’ve actually spent some time watching his old team in Germany,” Mighty Mussels pitcher Jackson Hicks said. “When we’re on the road we’ll sometimes put that up on the TV.”

Watching those games reminds Rimmel of the journey he has taken, one he doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s a real honor to be that one guy throughout the minor leagues, right now with the Twins, that is from Germany,” Rimmel said.

Tags: baseballFort MyersFort Myers Mighty MusselsGermany

 

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