Long considered a questionable pick at best, Brandon Nimmo, the very first draftee of the Sandy Alderson era, is in the midst of a legitimate breakout. He's getting on base more than Joey Votto and slugging higher than Bryce Harper. He has been the team's best position player despite spotty playing time, and leads the league in Smiles Above Replacement. Can he keep it going?
Nimmo's best tool is without question his eye at the plate. He makes selectivity an art form, and his 17.4 percent walk rate would rank sixth in baseball if he qualified. He swings at only 20 percent of the pitches he sees out of the zone, and rarely whiffs. These are skills he has consistently displayed not only since his 2016 debut, but throughout his professional career. They are real and they are sustainable.
One number that might or might not be so sustainable is his .393 batting average on balls in play -- a full 100 points above league average and a top 10 mark in baseball among players with at least 100 at bats. A BABIP this high is often seen as a sign of imminent regression to the mean, but there's good reason to think Nimmo's mean is significantly higher than average...