Brandon Nimmo is almost having as weird of a year as New York Mets teammates Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. Lindor has since raised his batting average while Alonso is well on his way to having a weak season in this area while still putting up the power and RBI numbers to make him one of the best sluggers in the game.
Meanwhile, Nimmo has remained dug in as the team's leadoff hitter while having a good yet not excellent year. He has recently gotten hot but the elements of what made him so great at the top of the lineup haven't been there.
Nimmo's OBP is down from where it typically is. His home run numbers are up. He's not as great of a pest as the Mets need. The MLB rules changes that could have made Bengie Molina a threat to run haven't translated into any extra stolen bases. Nimmo has never been a prototypical leadoff guy. If these changes to his game are more permanent, could we see him with a different role in the lineup? Let’s get drastic and contemplate a new look for future Mets starting lineups beginning with the leadoff hitter.
The NY Mets lineup is familiar with Brandon Nimmo at the top but what about hitting third?
MLB lineups aren't as clear cut as they used to be. Kyle Schwarber is hitting leadoff for the Philadelphia Phillies. Your fastest guy doesn't need to be number one. On a Mets roster with better stolen bases threats, could swapping Nimmo with Lindor actually improve the team?
Lindor batted leadoff plenty for Cleveland. His career totals from the leadoff spot are fantastic. In 384 plate appearances leading off games, he’s a .273/.346/.496 hitter with 21 doubles and 18 home runs. He has hit a total of 90 home runs as a leadoff hitter in his career from the one-hole with a .276/.341/.515 slash line in 1786 total plate appearances. He has similar numbers from the number three slot where he has spent a good chunk batting as a member of the Mets so there’s really not much of a difference for him.
Lindor's bat is valuable to the Mets in the middle of the order. What can it do at the top with his speed added on?
Some benefits of this NY Mets starting lineup change
This kind of lineup change is something to tinker with. If Nimmo is going to hit 20+ home runs and post high OBP numbers, a spot in the lineup in front of Alonso could feel appropriate even if it's not every game. Nimmo remains a superior OBP guy in comparison to Lindor. Wouldn’t it almost be better to have those extra trips to first base in front of a slugger?
Having Lindor, a freer base runner who steals bags, in front of Nimmo has its perks. Nimmo can run, but he’s not a base threat nor has he ever been. Double steals may come easier with the quicker runner in front. At times when Nimmo is in front of Lindor on the bases, the threat to run doesn’t exist. It changes with Lindor leading.
The Mets have deeper concerns than where they hit two of their better players. Would it make any sort of a difference?
Lindor is a top run producer in the league. The Mets lose that moving him away from the middle. They do gain something else.
This experiment would only truly work if the Mets have a suitable solution at the number two and five spot in the order. Nimmo and Jeff McNeil hitting back-to-back doesn’t quite work. McNeil in the five-hole is also unappealing as well. A healthy Starling Marte batting second and an even better Francisco Alvarez in the number five spot could be one way to make all of the pieces fit more nicely.