After a disappointing 2020 season, the New York Mets head into the offseason with a lot of holes to fill. Starting pitching, catcher, center field, are just a few. Hopefully, Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson can figure out a way to make this potential Opening Day lineup a reality.
The New York Mets enter the 2020 offseason with a lot of hope. The Wilpons are gone, a new era of Mets baseball has begun. The Mets have Steve Cohen as the new owner, a guy who is going to go all out to try and win a championship as soon as possible. I expect Cohen to make a splash or two. The splash I am hoping for the most is Trevor Bauer. Hopefully, the Mets can put out a lineup looking like this on opening day.
Brandon Nimmo – LF
Brandon Nimmo is not a fourth outfielder. The biggest issues he’s had during his tenure as a Met have been injuries and defense. The only time Nimmo has appeared in over 100 games was in 2018, when he played in 140. But to me, the most glaring weakness in his game, is his defense. Nimmo is just not a center fielder. Since being called up back in 2016, Nimmo has posted a -15 DRS in center field. However, in left field, Nimmo has a 5 DRS.
The old regime prioritized offense over defense, so Nimmo was forced to play out of position pretty much every day in 2020. If he can be in a corner outfield spot, I believe the Mets will be a much better team. They need to address center field through free agency or via trade to improve the overall team defense.
Now, let’s get to the reason he should be hitting leadoff. His bat can be elite. His best skill is getting on base. In the two seasons, he has stayed healthy for the most part in, Nimmo has posted an on-base percentage of over .400. That is elite production. Nimmo also has sneaky power. In 2018 he hit 17 home runs in 433 at-bats, a very solid number for a leadoff hitter.
While he most likely won’t be a .300 hitter, he did hit .280 in this shortened season to go along with his .404 OBP. This Mets lineup has so many talented offensive pieces and it is crucial to have someone who can get on base in front of guys like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Dom Smith.
Nimmo’s biggest flaw offensively in 2020 was his production against lefties. The Mets often hit him lower in the order, and towards the end of the year even benched him against southpaws. While this might’ve helped them more in the short term, it doesn’t help Nimmo to sit or get limited action against left-handers. I believe with enough reps he can turn it around against lefties just as Michael Conforto did this past season.
Nimmo should be in the lineup leading off every day in my opinion. He’s still someone who can get on base even if he doesn’t’ hit for a high average against southpaws, as shown by his .196 average but .317 OBP. With some improvement, he can get that OBP to a spot where it’s a good number for a leadoff hitter.