Brandon Nimmo as the everyday left fielder for the New York Mets is something Mets fans haven't been accustomed to for a while. But that is where he is projected to land for much of the 2024 season as the result of roster construction and partially by a small decline in outfield defense from last year.
Nimmo enters his ninth season in the majors (all with the Mets) and his second on the massive eight-year, $162 million contract he signed in December 2022, and he looks to replicate the offensive success he's had over the past two seasons, so how will he pan out in 2024?
New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo will see a change in defensive position, but not a change in his overall value at the plate.
Nimmo experienced a power surge last season, blasting a career-high 24 home runs after hitting 24 combined homers the previous two seasons. Things to attribute to his home run hitting include his average launch angle doubling from last season, a career-high fly ball rate of 26.4 percent, and a 10 percentage point decrease in ground ball rate. Will Eric Chavez have him revert to line drives and ground balls? Or will he keep letting him rip?
Besides, his plate discipline has been great, he gets on base, and sets the engine for the Mets lineup to score runs. Having Nimmo available for another 150 games this year would be awesome, and that'll ensure the Mets have opportunities to knock him in and gain an early edge on a nightly basis.
In 2022, Nimmo was an excellent center fielder, as his range and fielding run values were strong. Those metrics for him were not as great last year, but were still above average. The Mets still brought in Harrison Bader to play center field because they felt the defensive issues plagued most of the team last year.
So, Nimmo will be the left fielder for the Mets on Opening Day, and it is probably for the better. When the Mets signed Nimmo to the eight-year contract prior to last season, the question was when Nimmo would move to a corner outfield spot. Sounds like it will happen earlier than people thought, but I believe it will be for the better as I think his defensive metrics improve with some pressure taken off. Also, don't be surprised if he gets a few reps here and there at right field if they need someone out there given Starling Marte's health questions.
2024 stat predictions: .275 AVG, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 100 runs scored, .820 OPS