Who is Nick Plummer? New York Mets fans who checked out during the offseason are frantically Googling the name. Where did this guy come from? Is he the outfield version of Tylor Megill?
We can only be so lucky if he is.
Plummer was the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Injuries and some horrific batting averages during his first several years as a professional quickly put him on the outs with the organization. Then Plummer did something amazing. After years of hitting .228, .198, .205, and finally .177, he found his stroke in 2021. Plummer pieced together an impressive year at Double-A and Triple-A for the Cardinals where he would slash .280/.415/.479 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI.
With Mark Canha and Brandon Nimmo both on the COVID IL after testing positive, Plummer has taken a Mets roster spot. During their absence, it’s important he gets some starts and we should definitely expect him to.
Nick Plummer should be more than a Mets roster seat filler
Plummer has been hanging around with the Mets for the first week as part of their taxi squad. Upon the announcement that Canha and Nimmo would be out, he and Matt Reynolds took roster spots. Reynolds, an infielder, is more likely to give them some options on the dirt only if needed. Plummer, however, should actually see some significant playing time with two important outfielders out of action.
The Mets decided to go with Travis Jankowski in center field at their home opener rather than throw Plummer out there for his major league debut. It was a smart decision. The short notice may have been too much pressure on him. His time to start will come. Of course, how many opportunities he gets will depend on how soon Canha and Nimmo recover.
Signing Plummer this offseason may have been one of the sneakiest good moves of any team. The Cardinals chose to let him become a minor league free agent rather than add him to their 40-man roster. Despite never playing a game in the big leagues at the time, the Mets still agreed to sign him to a one-year major league contract. They were willing to take a chance on him much like they did last year with Sam McWilliams. Unfortunately, that one didn’t work out.
Plummer is certainly a candidate for the center field job in Flushing. His competition for the gig within the organization includes Khalil Lee, a player with a similar profile of some good speed, decent power, and a need to cut down on strikeouts. Plummer may, however, only get one year to prove himself with the Mets.
This probably wasn’t the way he wanted to get his opportunity to see big league pitching. However it’s going to happen, Plummer will need to hope it doesn’t go anything like Lee’s stint with the Mets did in 2021. The Arizona Diamondbacks will throw a pair of righties at the Mets on Saturday and Sunday. Plummer should get at least one appearance in the starting lineup. Although it’ll just be a preview of what he can possibly do, it could go a long way toward any future plans the club could have for him.