Walks are good; extra-base hits are better. The best approach for hitting has you looking for a pitch you can drive, whether that comes on the fifth pitch or the first pitch. Don’t expand the zone and take a walk if you don’t get a pitch to hit. No one personifies this approach on the Mets better than Brandon Nimmo. At times in his career, it seemed like Nimmo was hunting walks more so than pitches to drive. But it’s possible that he’s found the perfect balance here in the latter part of the 2023 season.

In his last 163 PA, Nimmo has a .313/.380/.551 mark. Yeah, the hits are falling in for him to some degree, as he has a .352 BABIP in this stretch, compared to a .332 lifetime mark in the category. But more important is that he has 18 XBH in this span, including 8 HR. Nimmo’s 9.2 BB% isn’t bad – it’s just not what we’re used to seeing from him. But when a player has a .238 ISO, you don’t want him hunting walks.

When it comes to sports, I’m a superstitious person. You don’t mention if a pitcher has a no-hitter, if you wear a yellow shirt and your favorite player has a four-hit game, you better wear a yellow shirt the next day, too. And if the Mets start a rally in the World Series and you’re doing something – you keep doing that exact thing for as long as possible.

Nimmo is having great success as a leadoff batter so my preference would be to keep him there and not upset the gods. But it does seem – at the very least on a theoretical level – that it’s okay to consider moving him to a different spot in the order. The most important thing, by 900 miles, a leadoff hitter can do is to get on base. And there’s no one who can challenge Nimmo’s .380 OBP here since August 11. But Nimmo doesn’t have the advantage of having someone like himself to drive him home, outside of the times he homers. Nimmo’s been on base at least 64 times (hits, walks, HBP and errors) and likely a few more due to fielder’s choices in the past 36 games, yet has only 19 runs scored. It seems like Nimmo should have more runs than that; yet, what’s a good ratio of times on base and runs scored?

In his MVP season of 1973, Pete Rose – another leadoff hitter without great SB numbers – reached base outside of FC 324 times and had 115 runs scored. That’s 35.5% of the time. Nimmo in his hot stretch here has scored 29.7% of the time he’s reached base. Now, Nimmo doesn’t have the Big Red Machine, with multiple Hall of Famers and MVP winners, batting behind him. But is it unrealistic to expect his numbers to be better in the midst of a hot streak?

It’s far from clear to me what the right thing to do is with regards to Nimmo’s position in the batting order. The only thing for sure is that Nimmo has been producing at a great clip. May those doubles, triples and homers keep coming at the same rate for the remainder of 2023, regardless of what his slot in the lineup is.

8 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (9/20/23)

  • Mike W

    Extra base hits are important. I will ding Alonso in this. He has 18 doubles this year, his worst. Not counting 2020. He has had seasons of 27, 27 and 30, still not great. That tells us that he is an all or nothing type of hitter. I would rather have him hit fewer home runs and drive in more runs and score more runs with a lot more doubles.

  • Brian Joura

    Now 20 XBH in his last 37 games

  • TexasGusCC

    Ok, now I really have to hear how this gets spun:

    https://sny.tv/articles/tommy-pham-called-out-mets-teammates

    • TexasGusCC

      I have said many times that I don’t feel Jeff McNeil has improved himself in any facet of the game since he came up. But, this is earth shaking… how’s Buck going to explain this?

  • ChrisF

    great article today in the Athletic about how the mets 450M$ team unraveled.

    phom to lindor it was the laziest group of position players hes ever seen

    • Brian Joura

      The dinner with Pham and Lindor also included Escobar and Alvarez so let’s assume those aren’t the lazy guys Pham was describing. Who does that leave?

      Narvaez still on the IL – so Nido
      Alonso
      McNeil
      Baty
      Canha
      Nimmo
      Vogelbach
      Guillorme

      That’s six white players and the two whitest Latin players on the club. I know there’s been a ton of positive press around Pham this year but I refuse to believe his assertion that the team’s white players are lazy. I’m supposed to believe that a guy with 45 HR, a guy who’s played three different positions and another who has 57 XBH and counting are dogging it?!? Because they play pool?!?

      • Brian Joura

        Pham later qualified that he had a lot of respect for the work ethics of Alonso and Nimmo.

        Also, Marte was left off my original list

        • ChrisF

          My guess is it’s more along the line of team ethos. I also saw that Lindor thanked Pham for reminding him what hard work was like.

          It’s easy to imagine not enough care, not enough, commitment, not enough…anything.

          Who knows what Pham meant, but he got a rep for being hard nosed. No matter how its cut, it doesnt look great.

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