Brandon Nimmo is high on the leaderboards

The Mets, as a team, have not had an impressive offensive season so far. Through Sunday’s game the team has scored 635 runs, 12th in the NL. However one Met is high on many of the statistical leaderboards, and by one advanced metric he is having the best batting season of anyone in the league.

That player is Brandon Nimmo, who has blossomed this year as an everyday corner outfielder/sometime center fielder. In 128 games, he has assembled a slash line of .266/.396/.496, accompanied by 17 homers. His OPS figure is .892. Good numbers, certainly, but the figure that really stands out among these stats is that OBP. He ranks fifth in the league in that category, ahead of players like Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman.

There are other leaderboards that Nimmo ranks high on, including 21 HBP, 1st in the league and a significant factor in Nimmo’s high OBP. Nimmo has pounded eight triples, tied for third in the league. In offensive WAR, Baseball Reference lists NImmo with 4.6, ninth in the league.

As noted in the first paragraph, there is an advanced metric that Nimmo leads the league in. That would be Baseball Reference’s Adjusted OPS+ stat, in which Nimmo is credited with a 151 figure, good enough for first in the league.

Adjusted OPS+ is modified from OPS by factoring in the influence of park and league. Citi Field has depressed offensive production, even after the fences were moved in few years ago, and Nimmo’s first place rank in the Adjusted OPS+ category shows that in a neutral park, Nimmo’s OPS figure would be substantially higher than what it is.

It is interesting that in the most traditional of offensive stats, BA, Nimmo’s mark of .266 is fairly ordinary. Yet by that advanced metric of Adjusted OPS+, Nimmo actually leads the league. This has a bit of commonality with the season Jacob deGrom is having, whereby in the most traditional of statistics by which to measure starting pitchers, wins, deGrom has racked up just eight so far, a decidedly ordinary amount. Yet in more advanced pitching metrics, deGrom does much better. IN FIP he leads the league with a 2.05 mark.

I am not comparing the value of Nimmo to the team as opposed to the value of deGrom, no sane analyst would, deGrom is having an historic season. It should be noted that a cursory glance at the old school stat does not do justice to them, one needs to examine the advanced metrics.

Nimmo hustles, he can run, and he is proving to be a force at the plate. This is only Nimmo’s third season in the big leagues, and he has improved his SLG from .329 for his first season up to .496 in his current year, and most of his other stats have improved as well. It looks like he could be a fixture in the Mets’ outfield for many years to come.

17 comments for “Brandon Nimmo is high on the leaderboards

  1. Pete In Iowa
    September 18, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Nimmo and Conforto should be the corner OF’s for years to come. I’m still trying to figure out why Mickey plays Conforto in left. Seems to me he has the better arm of the two (by a considerable margin, I might add) and therefore, should be the rightfielder.

  2. Steve S.
    September 18, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Nice post, John!

    Glad you mentioned Nimmo’s hustling. Is there a statistic to show the percentage of times a batter runs hard to first base?!

    • John Fox
      September 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks Steve. I bet it would be close between Nimmo and Jeff McNeil as to who runs hard to first the most.

  3. TexasGusCC
    September 18, 2018 at 11:58 am

    John, may I suggest you send a personally signed copy of this article to Mickey Callaway and write on it: “To Mickey, may you win many games and championships with Nimmo as your leadoff man”?

    • John Fox
      September 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      That was a head scratcher seeing Nimmo in the 8th spot of the batting order a few times, including 2 games against the Dodgers if I remember correctly.

  4. Metsense
    September 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Nice article John. I like Nimmo a lot. His hustle, his smile and his attitude can’t put in metrics. Overnight the Mets have become a young team and these players have taken the dynamic of winning to a competitive level. They are hungry, they know they’re good, and they’re going to win the World Series in the near future. Nimmo is one of the reasons I am so optimistic.
    Nimmo can be a center fielder even though it’s not his strongest position. By next July you will see an outfield of Cespedes, Nimmo, and Conforto with Bruce and Alonso platooning at first base. I can’t wait for 2019!

  5. MattyMets
    September 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    My assumption is that Rosario is only batting leadoff to give him extra atbats. Long term, I think we all agree Nimmo is our best option atop the order.

  6. Madman
    September 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Young players, more athletic players. Be wary of free agency,it usually doesn’t work! Harper or Machado would excite me as much as the rest of you, but 8-10 years at 35-40 million per? Wright and Cespedes signings seemed great at the time. The Santana signing was almost as bad. Players like Nimmo,Conforto,McNeil,Rosario, Giminez,Alonso are the way to go. The Bruce’s, Frazier’s, and Vargas’s while not as expensive as the elite FAs seem to seldom work also.

    • TJ
      September 18, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen, and perhaps a little more bullpen. The top positional signing should be a catcher with strong defensive/staff management tools, preferably a LH bat to be paired with Plawecki.

      • Madman
        September 18, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        Be careful,Holland,Davis,Reed were 3 of the top BP guys available last year. BP guys are notoriously up and down. Some closers are guys who failed as starters. Others are guys who develop a new pitch and seemingly come out of nowhere. Break the bank for Miller, Kimbel or Familia?

  7. TexasGusCC
    September 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    John, from our buddies at MMO:

    “Brandon Nimmo is hitting .344 (31-90) with a .478 OBP, 12 doubles, three homers, 15 RBI and 22 runs scored over his last 27 games since August 7. Has drawn 15 walks in September, the second-most in the majors…Nimmo is fourth in the NL with a .396 OBP, eighth with a .892 OPS, tied for third with eight triples and is first in the majors with 21 HBP (a single season franchise record). He has a career-high 17 homers.”

    • John Fox
      September 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      I wish he didn’t get quite as many hbp, always a risk of a major injury. About the record he has set, I did actually write an article a couple of months ago that he was on pace to smash the Mets single season hbp record.

  8. Chris F
    September 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Nimmo has earned his spot. Im absolutely happy to say he has been a genuine surprise, and deserves a starting spot. I dont like him in CF at all with an arm that weak and a bit shaky defense. Id make him the LF, move Conforto to RF where the arm plays and leave Lagares in CF for the moment. Ces doesnt figure into the equation for now as he wont play in ’19, or at most a handful of games. I would consider going after a genuine CF.

    For me, the Mets need to solve the following matters over the winter:

    catcher. Sure, keep KP, but I dont see him as an every day catcher. And like Mesoraco as we all do, he’s a classic Mets injury risk not worth taking. Ramos, Grandal, Maldonato, …. some legit C.

    starting pitching. There isnt 5 starters you can rely on. There isnt 4 starters to rely on. Id be in the hunt for another durable 180-200 IP mid rotation guy.

    relief pitching. yikes.

    CF. Preferably a non LHB Incierte type.

  9. Steevy
    September 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    His lineup placement the last month or so is less than optimial.If you could explain to me how Jay Bruce or Frazier belong ahead of him it would help me.Maybe I am dumb…

    • TexasGusCC
      September 18, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Let me explain:

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      Helps Fred Coupon sleep at night. Can you imagine $22MM hitting at the bottom of the order, even though they belong there? Oh the migraine.

      • LongTimeFan1
        September 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

        Lineup configuration decisions aren’t based on $$$. The anti-Wilpon fervor has gone beserk contorting this and that to make it all about money for people who have that agenda.

        Bruce and Frazier have power-hitting resumes and are of course going to most often hit in power positions in the lineup, one lefty, the other righty for balance.

        Frazier will probably bat lower when more balanced right hand hitting power is added to the lineup next season such as Cespedes upon return from DL and Alonso when Alonso establishes himself in majors.

        • TexasGusCC
          September 19, 2018 at 4:40 pm

          LOL! Sure, they have resumes of hitting .225. Further, they strike out a ton, so the chances of getting a productive outs is minimized.

          And yes, dollars have everything to do with lineup consideration. These decision makers have bosses and evaluators in the industry that will hold decisions today against future employment gigs. I would think if you had a boss and you’re spending his/her money, you may not want to give them the impression that something you paid big money for is put in a less significant situation than a cheaper item. If you do, have an answer for “Why did we pay that much money for these guys then?” What’s your answer going to be?

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