2018 is coming to a close in less than a week and, as a result, we here at Metsmerized Online would like to acknowledge some of the achievements by the team during this past season.
So, with that, Brandon Nimmo is the team’s breakout player for the 2018 season.
Nimmo, 25, had been the subject of trade rumors coming into the season, as he had been bandied about in talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates that would have brought Josh Harrison and, in one iteration of a deal, Andrew McCutchen.
However, Sandy Alderson refused to include Nimmo who was the first draft pick he ever made as GM of the Mets in 2011. The outfielder had yet to blossom, though, having only played in 101 games in two seasons at the MLB level.
In 2017, Nimmo had shown some signs of improvement as he hit .260/.379/.418 with five home runs and 21 RBI to give himself a 118 wRC+. He did that in only 215 plate appearances which made many skeptical he would keep that up over the course of a full season.
Well, this article is being written because he did manage to maintain it and more.
The outfielder played 140 games in 2018 in which he hit .263/.404/.483 (.886 OPS) with 17 home runs, 47 RBI, 28 doubles, and eight triples. That gave him a 149 wRC+, which ranked second in the NL only behind Christian Yelich who won the NL MVP.
Nimmo was initially expected to split time with Juan Lagares in center field, but that quickly changed when it became apparent that he was too good to leave out of the lineup.
After the first month of the season, Nimmo was hitting .313/.488/.563 with one homer and two triples. The month of May wasn’t too bad for him either as he finished that month with a .287/.406/.578 slash line and started to show off his power stroke as he hit five home runs, six doubles, and two triples over the course of that time period.
The two months that followed, though, would put his growth into question as the development of his power stroke resulted in a major flaw: strikeouts.
Over the next two months, he would strike out 74 times in 179 at-bats, with many attributing his struggles to a pinkie injury he sustained on June 24 as he got hit-by-a-pitch.
He would find his stroke again, though, and in the month of August, he hit a whopping .349/.423/.635 with two home runs, eight doubles, and two triples. That was highlighted by a 5-for-5 day against the Baltimore Orioles on August 15.
His month of September would be solid, but unspectacular, as he hit .237/.468/.395 for the month to finish out the year. He would play his last game on September 29 before being shut down for a minor injury that is not expected to hurt him in any way in 2019.
Nimmo was a bright spot on a team that did not produce many in 2018 and is expected to have a major role next season in which Mickey Callaway has already stated that the plan is to have him leadoff.