New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo quickly becoming a star

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 15: Brandon Nimmo #9 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 15: Brandon Nimmo #9 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Despite the fact that the New York Mets have had a difficult 2018 season so far, one bright spot has been the ascension of Brandon  Nimmo.

The New York Mets have been a tough team to watch for most of the 2018 season so far. Although they have won their last two games in a row, the 11-1 start feels as if it were about a decade ago. When they pitch well they can’t hit, just ask Jacob deGrom. When a position player goes and apologizes to the starter for not hitting, you know it is bad. Todd Frazier was right to apologize, they are wasting a potential Cy-Young year from deGrom.

However, the lineup boasts one exception. He didn’t really figure into the team plans when the season began but has gotten his chance thanks to injuries. The young man can play defense and hits no matter where he is in the lineup. He plays with an infectious smile like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Now he has become a write-in candidate for the All-Star game.

Of course we are talking about budding star Brandon Nimmo. He has gotten the chance to play every day and he has more than taken advantage.

So far in 2018 Nimmo has posted a .274 batting average. He has scored 33 runs and driven in 18, though the biggest surprise has been his power. Nimmo has already parked ten home runs, including the go-ahead home run in the comeback win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. All this kid does is make plays with his bad when the team has needed them.

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He also knows how to get on base. Nimmo has walked 26 times and sports on on-base percentage of .402. His versatility has been in play as he has been used in the batting order everywhere except for cleanup.

Nimmo probably should be spending most of, if not all of his time at leadoff. The majority of his at-bats have come from the leadoff spot, and his on-base percentage is .414 and his batting average is .288.

Leading off the game, is on-base percentage as the first man up is a whopping .485. You won’t see much better than that. To put it in perspective, Rickey Henderson only boasted a .380 OBP leading off a ball game for his career.

That is the table-setter that a lineup needs, getting on base for the guys in the middle of the lineup. If the team were hitting better his runs scored would be quite higher.

The more interesting stat is his batting average when he puts the ball in play. Baseball reference notes a stat of a player’s batting average when they put the ball in play, in other words, removing strikeouts. It shows how productive they are on contact with the baseball. Nimmo is hitting .337 as a leadoff hitter on balls in play, and .357 as a third hitter. Even as a middle of the lineup guy he has been productive.

Frankly, Mickey Callaway would be smart just to leave him alone in the leadoff spot. Not that he has been bad in other spots, but his skill-set lends itself more to a leadoff hitter. You don’t see guys with an OBP of over .400 anymore, so when you get that you have to use it. The assumption was that Amed Rosario would fit the bill, but as of this post his 2018 OBP is .266. That won’t cut the mustard as they say.

The Mets need a guy to get on base at the top of the lineup and Brandon Nimmo has proven to have that ability.

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No matter who returns from injury, Brandon Nimmo needs to play every day. He plays with an energy that can only impact the team in a positive manner. These days there aren’t too many smiles around the Mets, but Nimmo always seems to sport one. He is playing well, loving what he does and that will only make the Mets better.

Raise your hand if you would be OK with Brandon Nimmo playing ahead of Jay Bruce. Put your hands down, so would I. Mickey, keep this kid in the lineup, and fans, vote him as a write-in candidate for the Midsummer Classic. He deserves it.