Brandon Nimmo Takes Batting Leadoff To A Whole New Level

Brandon Nimmo - Mets Sparkplug

Brandon Nimmo is back with the Mets batting leadoff, and already you can see the difference in the team. But it’s about more than the numbers.

When Brandon Nimmo left the Mets with a hand injury that would leave him idle for two months, he was batting .339, with an on-base percentage (OBP) of .453 and an OPS of .921 in a league where the average OPS is .712.

Welcome Back, Brandon Nimmo (USA Today)
Welcome Back, Brandon Nimmo (USA Today)

When Nimmo was cleared by doctors to return to the Mets, manager Luis Rojas wasted no time reinstating him to his customary place in the lineup as their leadoff hitter.

Unlike many returning players, Brandon Nimmo picked up where he left off, collecting three hits while scoring two runs in a solid 8-3 drubbing of the Yankees.

More significantly, Nimmo’s base hits sparked two key batters in the Mets batting order, Francisco Lindor and Dominic Smith, to follow suit, contributing two and three hits while driving four runs in.

Brandon Nimmo – The Quintessential Leadoff Hitter

Brandon Nimmo is your quintessential major league leadoff hitter.

According to Baseball-Reference, when Nimmo (2021) is the game’s first batter, he’s batting .400, with a .500 OBP and a whopping 1.033 OPS.

As the lead-off hitter in an inning, Brandon Nimmo bats .385, with a .515 OBP and a .977 OPS.

I haven’t looked it up but if there’s a lead-off hitter in baseball today who can match or exceed those numbers, someone, please name him.

With Brandon Nimmo, It’s All About Those Intangibles

But with Nimmo, it’s not only about the numbers. It’s about those things they call intangibles in baseball – the attributes of a player you can’t measure but you know are there – separating him from the norm.

Mets fans know what I mean because they see it themselves in the youthful joy and enthusiasm Brandon Nimmo brings to the clubhouse every time he steps on the field.

Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets Sparkplug (Photo: Newsday.com)
Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets Sparkplug (Photo: Newsday.com)

Leaving the post-game quotes to Lindor and Pete Alonso, Nimmo’s locker is not the first stop reporters make when looking for a story.

Instead, he plays each game like it’s the last one he’ll ever play, getting on base for the “big boys” to start a rally and score some runs.

Seldom have we seen this Mets team score eight runs in a game while collecting fourteen hits, but with Brandon Nimmo in the game, everything changes for the Mets.

After yesterday’s game, Nimmo did have this to say:

“I did surprise myself a little bit,” Nimmo said. “But I was really, really glad to be able to help, be able to get on base, be able to create some traffic for some guys, and guys really came through with some big hits.”

Yes, they did, and it’s a winning formula the Mets need to stay with to hold off the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves while maintaining or even building on the 3.5 game lead they have in the NL East standings.

This is how it’s done (video), though, and with Brandon Nimmo back to light the fire, it’s likely to spread.


Mets: Onward And Upward

Today’s split twin-bill doubleheader sends Marcus Stroman, who is making his first start since suffering a mild hip injury, to face Yankees’ ace, Gerrit Cole, in the make-up game for Friday’s rainout.

Tonight’s ESPN telecast has Corey Oswalt, a recent call-up from Triple-A Syracuse, squaring off against “slowballer” Nestor Cortes for the Yankees.

Both games, per MLB rules, will be for seven innings, which makes me wonder how fans feel about being “cheated” out of two innings, not to mention how many commercials ESPN will try to squeeze in to make up for lost ad time.

But that’s baseball in 2021, and for the Mets, this is as good a chance as any to bury their arch-rivals even deeper than they are now.

Postscript

Two more hits this afternoon, a run scored, and three driven in for Brandon Nimmo as the Mets trounce the Yankees and Gerrit Cole 10-5.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Stephen Steele Nimmo is a grinder at the plate and an ideal lead-off hitter. But he’s a below-average fielder with a weak, inaccurate arm. He reminds me a lot of Daniel Murphy. Will his glove cost you as many games as his bat wins? I’d like to see Nimmo get through a season healthy to see if his 4.6 WAR 2018 season was an outlier or norm. Beyond that year, he’s barely over replacement level. Author’s Reply: All true, but you can’t ignore those intangibles…I’ll give you he is not a complete ballplayer in the field, but over six seasons he has 9 assists with only 6 errors. In sum, he’s not gonna hurt you out there.

Sue Mattro It’s so great to have him back!

Susan Franciscovich Yes and I must say Jeff is doing well too. It’s a great combination of kids who support, love and respect one another. Doggone the Mets keep plugging away by dingy and mix in fun too. Happy, safe 4th of July to my Metsies and Mets family!!!

Tonice Rizzo Carroll His enthusiasm is contagious!

Edwin Skepple Hitting in the DH park makes a big difference. Still don’t love his defense. He plays too deep

 

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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.