Prediction number two for Nimmo and the Mets might leave us asking, “Who said we needed an upgrade in center field?
Brandon Nimmo is the constant optimist. It’s easy to correlate that optimism and the child-like enthusiasm of his play into passion and hard work. No doubt, Nimmo has been listening to his defensive detractors all off-season and in his mind is determined to do something about it.
He also has Pillar and Almora breathing down his neck for the chance to play.
This will be the year when Nimmo puts all the pieces together to play a solid center field. Maybe we won’t get a gold glove performance, but he will be at least average or slightly better.
As stated, most of Nimmo’s defensive hiccups have been his timing and route to the ball. He’d often move in with his first step instead of back. That split-second reaction will cause balls to sail over your head.
While a lot of that is instinct, plenty of drills and reinforcement play in the outfield with a coach during spring training could correct that. If Nimmo is able to make his first step in the right direction or at least stay put until he finds the ball in the air, that extra second or two can turn in some big results. He either makes the catch or perhaps the ball will at least drop in front of him instead of going over his head.
Look for Nimmo to put in the work and get better in the field simply because baseball said: “he couldn’t.”