New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo showing shades of Brett Gardner
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is developing into a fine player, closely resembling Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees.
New York Mets fans appreciate what Brandon Nimmo can do for their team. In such a limited sample size, the left-handed hitting outfielder has already made some noise and won over many members of the Mets’ fan base. He’s doing it in a similar way Brett Gardner did with the New York Yankees years earlier.
Nimmo isn’t the type of player who will smack a pair of home runs. I’m not even so sure he ever appears in an All-Star Game. While quite talented, Nimmo’s job is to do the things he does best in order to help the Mets win.
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The most admirable tool at Nimmo’s disposal is his amazing eye at the plate. Outside of New York, I’m not so sure people notice how great his OBP is. This has been a consistent trait since debuting back in 2016. As his playing time increases, his OBP stays exactly in the same spot.
Nimmo reminds me of Gardner in the way that he takes a backseat to the star talent around him. Gardner never received the accolades many of his teammates did. However, he was always there. Gardner regularly batted leadoff for the Yankees and was arguably one of the more consistent players on the team.
Gardner’s statistics do vary from year-to-year. Like Nimmo, it’s his ability to draw walks which stays the same. In years when he can’t hit home runs, he walks a lot. In those seasons when his batting average dipped, he still drew walks.
Not quite at Gardner’s level in other aspects, Nimmo will need to find other ways to contribute. Gardner was a true base stealing threat early in his career. Nimmo doesn’t seem to possess such thieving skills. Instead of this, Nimmo can become a smart base runner instead of just a fast one.
The Mets haven’t shown their cards yet in regards to what the future holds for Nimmo. If he continues to play the way he has, they can’t deny he belongs in the starting lineup.
At the very least, Nimmo must start every day against right-handed pitchers.
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Those who subscribe to the idea that “a walk is as good as a hit” will learn to love Nimmo. Those who don’t will have to hope the Mets can use him as trait bait. This is what he is and what he does best.