As of this writing, the Mets are 30-17 with a 7.5 game lead atop the NL East. They’ve lost only two series this year, which is both phenomenal and speaks to the quiet consistency they’ve managed over the first quarter of the season. There aren’t any flashy winning streaks, sure, but they’ve also managed to avoid spiraling losing streaks amongst the seemingly endless (and very Mets-like) injury news.

Even so, as a Mets fan, there’s always that nagging feeling of waiting on that other shoe to drop. After all, the team entered this same date last season leading the NL East with a 24-20 record. We know how that turned out, but this year something just feels different. It felt like smoke and mirrors during the Mets’ tenuous run as the leader of the division through the bulk 2021, and by season’s end the team’s true identity was apparent as they finished the year 77-85 and third in the division. Although not ultimately shocking, it was nonetheless a depressing end to a season that showed at least some promise.

Despite the key injuries and the shaky bullpen, the 2022 version of the Mets are absolutely a more complete team with the acquisitions made in the offseason. The infusion of talent only tells half the story, though, and we need only look to one of the major storylines from last year. That, of course, was the Mets troubling offense through this point last season.

Through May 28th of last season the Mets offense ranked last in runs scored, RBIs, and hits while they sat second-to-last in home runs, ISO, and slugging. Sure, they were getting on base at a middling clip, but they simply were not turning that .311 OBP (buoyed by walks) into runs. Their performance was the definition of treading water, and it all boiled down to everyone not named Brandon Nimmo disappointing with a bat in their hands.

The team has turned it around in spades this young season. They’re currently fourth in the MLB with a robust team wRC+ of 114 and are in the top five in RBIs and runs. They lead baseball in number of hits at 415 while also topping the leaderboard for singles and triples. They do have an elevated BABIP of .309 (second in baseball) and have not hit for as much power as you’d like to see, but the results so far are night and day compared to last season.

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what’s caused the turnaround, though we can see that the team as a whole is swinging less often generally this season than last season. They’re also making much more contact and have fewer swinging strikes when they do swing. From a batted ball perspective, there isn’t much of a difference between the quarter mark of 2021 and 2022 beyond a general uptick in medium/hard hits and that extremely noticeable BABIP, which does point to a potential regression. Statcast also points to the fact that the team isn’t necessarily tearing the cover off of the ball, either.

It’s easy to point to the signings of Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar as the reason for the turnaround, but it’s mostly the team’s carryovers who have been stepping up after struggling last season. Once again led by Nimmo, regulars like Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Francisco Lindor are performing to their capabilities in combination with the contributions of the aforementioned newcomers

What’s changed beyond it simply being a new season? There was chatter regarding the hitters being overwhelmed with analytics last season, and the firing of Chili Davis appeared to have an impact on many of the team’s blossoming young hitters, so perhaps a bit more stability and a slight shift back to an older school hitting approach supplemented by analytics has done wonders. New hitting coach Eric Chavez has noted, for instance, that the players are presented with some data but by and large are asked what advanced information they’d like to see heading into a game. Of course, we can’t dismiss the impact that lengthening and strengthening the overall lineup with key additions has likely had as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where the offense ultimately ends up at season’s end with a more robust set of results to analyze, particularly since the team will need to lean heavily on it until the rotation can get healthy again. That elevated BABIP is a concern, though there are enough above-average hitters in the lineup that precious few plate appearances should be wasted on replacement-level players. That’s a win in and of itself.

4 comments on “Brandon Nimmo leads Mets’ offensive resurgence

  • MikeW

    It is awesome to see how well they are hitting and scoring alot of runs. Let’s hope they can keep it up because it us tough if you need to score eight runs a game because you gave up six or seven.

  • NYM6986

    Hoping they sign Nimmo in season and not let it drag out until he is a free agent. We see that when healthy he is a good lead off batter and plays an acceptable and improving CF. The issue has always been his ability to stay on the field. Fingers crossed. And while Lindor is still not hitting for average, he is doing a lot at the plate and is anchoring a very strong defensive infield. If Escobar can start stroking at the plate, and with McNeil back to himself, this ,Ishtar be the best infield they have put on the field in a very long time.

  • Wobbit

    Nimmo is not only staying on the field, but he is a much better player than in previous seasons.
    His hitting alone:
    Nimmo’s approach has clearly changed. He is much more focused and intense at the plate, far less prone to the bad AB. He still guesses and takes an occasional third strike, but far less than before.

    He battles at the plate. We see him choking up with two strikes in an effort to adapt and fight off pitches that would have defeated him in the past. His two-strike strategy also includes slashing the ball to the left side, especially against LH pitchers.

    … hitting LHers is his biggest improvement. Nimmo leads the team against LH pitching, and that would have been impossible in seasons past. Something started clicking halfway through last season for Nimmo against LHers… he started staying closed on breaking balls and driving the pitch over shortstop… now a bonafide threat.

    Along with Alonso, Nimmo is now the main offensive piece on the team. He can hit #1,#2, or #3 in the order to equal value. He is the perfect number two in that he takes pitches, makes contact, and hard to double up. He can hit number 3 because of his power… maybe better than Lindor in that respect.
    Gotta resign him.

    Psst,,, hey Buck… JDDavis might be the same as Nimmo from the other side.. he seems to hit RHers better than LHers…

  • BoomBoom

    Those teams are looking at their upcoming schedule and fearing us. Mets are a top 3 team in baseball.

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