Mets: Brandon Nimmo is fine in CF but the Mets can do better in the future
By Tim Boyle
Brandon Nimmo is fine, but the New York Mets can do better for their future center field plans.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on how the New York Mets need to have a better plan for center field in 2021. In 2020, the plan seems to—for lack of a better word—center around starting Brandon Nimmo there regularly with Jake Marisnick as a backup.
It’s not a bad plan. It’s definitely a thousand times better than what the team went into 2019 with when it looked like they would use Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton at the position.
Better isn’t always the best. And while Nimmo is a good player and someone the Mets should keep around, there are too many better options for the franchise to go after.
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Nimmo’s future in Flushing has been one of the most debated topics among fans over the last two years. After 2018, many fell in love with his personality and talent. The 2019 campaign soured some and made those who never liked him in the first place fall into a stage of “told ya so.”
I tried to see both sides of all Nimmo arguments. He’s not the star player some people make him out to be quite yet. However, with only one full season under his belt to prove himself, there’s room for growth.
This doesn’t mean he’s the guy I want to see in center field for the 2021 season. It’s rare for elite center fielders to hit the open market. Next winter, we will see plenty of them potentially become available.
Call it burn out or whatever you want. After a decade of inconsistency in center field, it’s time we see the Mets add a true center fielder into the lineup. The last time they had one was when Carlos Beltran wore orange and blue as a player.
The names we’re going to hear about often over the next few months are Mookie Betts, George Springer, Joc Pederson, and Marcell Ozuna. Each offers something different. Some are more true center fielders than others.
All would be an upgrade in some regard over Nimmo. In some areas, you can make a fair argument in favor of Nimmo.
When a team builds a winning squad, it’s important to start up the middle. Pitchers, catchers, second basemen, shortstops, and center fielders are the core of a team’s success long-term. Often, as players age, they are downgraded to the corner spots. The Mets, unfortunately, already loaded up at those positions and didn’t leave much room for change.
Because the Mets are so heavy in the corners already, they have little room to allow someone like Robinson Cano to move from second base to a corner spot. It’s a minor issue to a bigger problem. The bigger one, obviously, is the never-ending contract Cano is signed to.
As for Nimmo, his future with the Mets feels in limbo. He’s not what anyone identifies as a true center fielder nor is there much room for him to slide into a corner spot; at least not for now.
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The Mets can get by with Nimmo in center field for the time being. In the not too distant future, I would like to see an upgrade.