Ask a room full of New York Mets fans what they expect from this team in 2021. Combine those answers together and I think you have a team stacked with 12 All-Stars, a ridiculous amount of league leaders, and a whole lot of career years.
Mets fans are excited about this season. I can’t blame them. It’s the first year sans Wilpon majority ownership.
In 2021, we should see the club bounce back from the miseries of 2020. The shortened campaign ended on time with the team on the outside of the playoff picture. A key element to making the postseason in 2021 will be to get some career years out of some important players. This year, I have three favorites to break out and put together the best season of their life.
Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo
Brandon Nimmo is a “love him or hate him” type of player. Those who have been paying attention seem to adore him. He gets on base, hits with some good power, and always brings a good attitude to the field. He gets the job done at a high level.
Then there are those who still think he deserves to, at best, have a spot on the team as the fourth outfielder. I don’t quite understand where these people are coming from. As frustrating as he is at times (his defense and high strikeout ratio specifically), Nimmo is an important member of the Mets.
This year, I envision Nimmo putting together what we could consider a career campaign.
Nimmo’s best season to date happened back in 2018 when he first became an everyday player. Nimmo slashed .263/.404/.483 for the Mets while popping 17 home runs and driving in 47 over the course of his 535 trips to the plate. He walked a ton and seemed to get on base regularly enough to become a constant option to bat leadoff.
Nimmo was well on his way to replicating and maybe even surpassing his 2018 season last year. In his 225 plate appearances during the shortened season, Nimmo slashed .280/.404/.484 with 8 home runs and 18 RBI. The equaled OBP and one point higher in his slugging percentage was great to see. Even better, he hit for a batting average 22 points higher than what he has for his career.
Settled in as the starting center fielder this year, prepare yourself to see a lot of Nimmo. He may have a few more off-days than some other starters. However, he should get more than enough playing time to put together the best season of his career thus far.