In his last 16 games, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is hitting .308 with a .433 OBP, 12 walks, three home runs, 11 RBI and nine runs scored.
"I take a lot of pride in my whole game," Nimmo said after Wednesday's loss, during which he hit a solo home run. "A part of my game is getting on base. I feel like I command the zone pretty well … and I am proud of that."
Nimmo has swung at 16.5 percent of pitches thrown to him outside of the strike zone, which is the fifth-best percentage in baseball. He ranks eighth best on pitches thrown in the strike zone.
"If I give it my best effort and don't have any regrets about the work that I put in, then I'm going to be able to look myself in the mirror at the end of the season, and in the offseason, and be OK with it," Nimmo concluded. "I don't know where that puts me or what we're talking about for next year, because so many things are going to happen between now and then. But if nothing else, it's given me confidence -- and I hope given the team confidence -- that I can play at this level regularly."
Earlier this season, Sandy Alderson told reporters that he'll need to know more about Michael Conforto's recovery from shoulder surgery before determining whether to acquire another outfielder this winter.
"I think that's to be determined," Alderson explained. "We'll know more in about a month or so with respect to Conforto's timetable, and I think we'll know more about Nimmo and Juan Lagares."
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): Nimmo is clearly one of the most patient hitters in the league. Period. And, this should not come as a shock to anyone that watched him the last few years. He's got a terrific sense of himself and the situation. Alderson must be giddy about his potential to be a leadoff hitter.
For instance, in seven games batting leadoff this season, Nimmo has hit only .208, but he also has .367 OBP and six runs scored. However, during those seven games, he did hit .500 with a .571 OBP in the day's first at-bat. Similarly, when leading off an inning, regardless of where he was slotted in the lineup to start the game, Nimmo has hit .342 with a .432 OBP, while picking up 20 bases in 32 games.
The point is, the kid takes pitches, draws walks and finds himself in scoring position better than anyone on the team. The problem is that the Mets are not lacking in station-to-station guys, what they need are hitters to drive those guys home.
Sept. 18, 2017: Nimmo bats at Citi Field. Credit: Marlin-USA Today
The Mets will have Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto next season, that much we know. And, I assume, they plan to acquire more pop during the winter. If that's the case, they're going to need to decide between Nimmo and Juan Lagares, likely siding with whomever they feel can be an everyday player at the start of the season if Conforto is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Or, they can keep Lagares and stash Nimmo in the minor leagues, but that seems like a total waste of talent given the above big-league stats.
Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com: While Nimmo has shown little power in his professional career, his 13.6 percent walk rate in the minors shows he has the potential to get on base at an elite rate. Early indicators suggest this approach is translating at the major league level, though the hit tool needs to continue to develop in order to justify the lack of power and vulnerability to strikeouts.
Even with less opportunity in center, though, if he can continue his excellent on-base percentage while showing a little Kevin Long-induced power bump (Long has shown a knack for getting the most out of bats like Nimmo's), he could end up getting a lot of work next season as a fourth outfielder and lefty bench bat >> Read more