"In Brandon Nimmo, the Mets basically have a young, pre-injury Michael Brantley on their hands, a player with great plate discipline and good corner-outfield defense with a chance at more," writes Eno Sarris for FanGraphs.
The 24-year-old Nimmo's elite plate discipline helped him post a walk rate of 15.3 percent and a .379 OBP in 69 games for the Mets last season. And it's one of the reasons why they're reportedly not willing to trade him to the Pirates for INF/OF Josh Harrison.
"Only four players reached at pitches outside the zone less often than Nimmo last year, so he's got something serious going for him there," Sarris notes.
Aside from his plate discipline, Nimmo has "a nearly even batted-ball mix, and a certain degree of power," writes Sarris, who says a current comp for Nimmo offensively is Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes -- while Nimmo has a chance to become an overall player similar to Steven Souza, Jr. or Yasiel Puig.
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In their search for a second baseman or third baseman, the Mets are likely choosing between Harrison and free agents Todd Frazier, Eduardo Nunez, and Neil Walker. When news of the potential Nimmo for Harrison trade first came out, I was of the opinion that the Mets should bite the bullet and do it. That isn't the case anymore.
With Michael Conforto not expected to be ready for Opening Day and with his future still a bit uncertain after shoulder surgery, Nimmo currently profiles as one half of a center field platoon in 2018 with Juan Lagares. And even when Conforto returns, Nimmo will still be only one of five outfielders on the Mets' 40-man roster.
The Mets' lack of outfield depth is just the start of things, though. Along with Conforto, who Mets GM Sandy Alderson is earmarking a May 1 return for, there is also uncertainty surrounding the health of Yoenis Cespedes, who was limited to just 81 games last season -- mostly due to leg issues.
There's also the fact that if Adrian Gonzalez is ineffective or hurt, the Mets may be forced to shift Jay Bruce to first base -- meaning even more time for Nimmo in the outfield -- even if Conforto has returned.
Add all of the above, sprinkle in Nimmo's room for growth, and the result is him being of immense value to the Mets in 2018 and beyond.