Brandon Nimmo of the New York Mets was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Nimmo attended Cheyenne East High School but never played any baseball there. That's because Wyoming is one of only three states that do not offer high school baseball. Nimmo became noticed by the major league scouts while playing American Legion Baseball.
Nimmo had become a free agent coming off his strong 2022 season that saw him hit .269 with 16 HR's, 64 RBI's and an OBP of .367 batting almost exclusively in the lead off position. This along with his improved defense as the team's every day center fielder helped increase his value around MLB. Nimmo chose to stay home and signed an eight year contract worth $162 million to remain with the Mets.
Will the security of a long term contract help Brandon Nimmo continue along his present path? Will the stability of knowing he'll be a Met for life help him to attain greater goals? Or, will the big bucks lead him more towards complacency? Let's take a look at the man.
Setting expectations for Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo, first by looking at his numbers
Before we examine Brandon Nimmo's future, let’s first take a look at how we got here. Nimmo was the first round selection of the Mets, taken 13th overall in the MLB 2011 Amateur Draft, He was promoted to the major league club on June 25, 2016, where he hit ,274 in a limited role.
A nagging hamstring injury, hurt while playing in the World Baseball Classic, slowed Nimmo's 2017 production but in 2018 he showed he had arrived Although hitting .263 with 17 HR's, his 80 BB and league leading 22 HBP helped him attain a .404 OBP.
Brandon Nimmo was taken out of a game in early April, 2019 because of a stiff neck. which later was diagnosed to be a bulging disk. After a long rehababilitation, he wouldn't see the starting line up again until September. He hit only .221 in 69 games.
Although the Covid-19 epidemic severely effected the 2020 MLB season, Brandon Nimmo was able to rebound with a .280 BA with an OBP of .404. This uncanny ability to get on base continued in 2021 as he would hit .292 with an OBP of .401
As mentioned, 2022 was a stand out year for Brandon Nimmo resulting in one of the largest free agent contracts signed during this off season.
OK, now what have you done for me lately?
Brandon Nimmo, a Met for life.
At a glance, it's easy to look at Brandon Nimmo's statistics and estimate his 2023 season to be a batting average of .270 with 15 HR's, 60 RBI's and an OBP approaching .400. But, I think that these estimates might be low. The lack of infield shifts next year along with his speed, will increase Nimmo's offensive production. Ground balls and line drives through the infield will be hits once again. No more getting thrown out from short right field. Nimmo claims that he wants to steal more bases. The lack of the shift should help there as well. All of this could increase his statistics by 10%.
Another thought is will the big contract make Brandon Nimmo complacent? I've watched him play over the past seven seasons and he is the last person I would ever expect to give anything less than 100%. That's not who he is. Nimmo runs to first base after a walk, yet nobody ever accuses him of being a hot dog, That's just who he is, bubbling over with youthful enthusiasm.
Several seasons ago, the prevailing opinion among baseball people was that Brandon Nimmo would be a liability in center field for the Mets. Nimmo took the time to learn how to better field the position, increase his foot speed and arm strength. He came to Spring Training ready to be the Mets every day center fielder. He's still there.
Before Brandon Nimmo could attend the University of Arkansas, he needed a car. He got a 2010 Nissan Altima. He still drives that same car today. That's the kind of guy he is: team fiest, him last. Injuries can happen. Slumps can happen, too. But if Brandon Nimmo doesn't live up to these expectations, it won't be because of a lack of effort.