After a season where he was one of the most valuable outfielders in baseball, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo has been recognized among the elite.
Nimmo checked in at No. 6 on MLB Network's top right fielders in baseball rankings, behind only Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Mitch Haniger, and Bryce Harper.
The 25-year-old Nimmo had a breakout campaign in 2018, hitting .263/.404/.483 with 17 homers, 28 doubles, and eight triples in 140 games while getting time in right field (62 games), center (44), and left (32).
The MLB Network rankings take into account player performance over the last two seasons, offensive and defensive metrics, advanced statcast data, traditional stats, and "expert analysis by the MLB Network research team."
The above would help explain why Nimmo -- who hit .260/.379/.418 in 2017 -- was ranked behind Haniger, whose OBP has never been higher than .366 but whose 2017 season was roughly twice as valuable as Nimmo's when it comes to fWAR.
Lost a bit in Nimmo's breakout 2018 was just how valuable he was, with a tendency by some to place a large emphasis on his relatively low batting average -- often above other stats where he was ranked near the top of the league.
Some Nimmo stats that give color to just how good he was in 2018:
- Only three players in baseball had a better OBP than Nimmo's .404. Those players are all former MVP winners: Mike Trout (.460), Mookie Betts (.438), and Joey Votto (.417).
- Nimmo's .886 OPS was 17th-best in baseball, with him tucked between Bryce Harper and Xander Bogaerts.
- Nimmo's .483 slugging percentage was seventh-best among NL outfielders, ahead of players such as Cody Bellinger and Kyle Schwarber.
Though Nimmo has been ranked among the best right fielders in baseball, he might get most of his time in center field this season as the Mets are currently constituted.
The expectation is that Jeff McNeil will get plenty of starts in the outfield, which would likely mean McNeil being in left, Nimmo in center, and Michael Conforto in right on most days.