This time last year the Mets weren’t sure that Brandon Nimmo was a starter. The fans were pretty sure, but the Mets had him tagged as a 4th outfielder. As the Mets got more an more injured, Nimmo’s playing time increased and he turned into a player that challenged Judge most of the season in OPS.
For Nimmo, the massive change last year was how often he walked and just got in base in general. It lead to a 123 DRC+, a leader on the Mets:
2018: 535 PA, 433 AB, 17 HR, .26w3/.404/.483, 4.8 WAR, 123 DRC+
Career: .264/.391/.449, 111 DRC+
Nimmo got on base more and hit for more pop and suddenly he became one of the most consistent, important pieces in the Mets lineup. By DRC+, Nimmo definitely broke out last year having a 92 and 84 DRC+ the previous seasons.
So where does Nimmo go from here?
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )
For the most part, the computers have Nimmo taking a step back. Despite his average last year being close to his career mark, they having hitting on average 15 points lower and getting on base almost 30 points lower than his average clip. They still have contributing solidly to WAR, even if it’s much less and his DRC+ still puts him above average, but it’s a significant step down.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this because I’m so enamored by Nimmo the person. My gut wants to say that all of these projections, with the exception of Baseball Reference are underestimating him, but it may be because I so deeply want him to succeed that it’s clouding my vision.
Conforto needs to have a big season, almost MVP like for the Mets to win the division this year. If Nimmo makes it tough to determine who the MVP of the team is, then the Mets will be in a very good place come September.