By Gem Tablak
Nimmo went 0-4 in his first career start in the bigs on Sunday against the Braves’ Bud Norris but what can the Mets expect to see from Nimmo in his first stint in the big leagues? My guess is, we’re not going to see any parallels with Conforto & his call up last year in the 2015 season but that doesn’t mean Nimmo will be a bust, not at all.
Let’s start with the basics, the kid hustles hard & runs out every ball, he plays the game the right way. I bring that up only because of what we’ve been seeing from players like De Aza & even Cespedes this weekend when he pulled up lame at second base without sliding. In AAA Vegas, Nimmo had 5 stolen bases while being caught 7 times so it’s safe to say he’s not going to be a burner on the base paths but don’t let that dissuade you from his base running ability. He seems to have a very good IQ for the base paths & once he gets going, he is an above average runner so 1st to 3rd on hits should be expected, especially since he is such a hustler.
In the outfield, I like him best in RF due to his ability to get good reads & jumps on fly balls as well as having an above average arm & I think will be a perfect candidate to fill in for Granderson once his contract is up, besides, I think that was the Mets plan to begin with. Don’t be surprised to see him get some time in CF as well these up coming 2 years but it’s not something I see lasting any longer than that.
In the clubhouse I think the Mets are getting a silent leader, the type of player that lets his play do the talking. I recall when he was first drafted, he was just so polite & well mannered, as most draftees are but he had kept that same demeanor as far as AAA where I got to see him play. He’s going to be a great off the field example as well, I would imagine. Listening to his parent speak about how much he’s grown as a man & a good person spoke volumes to me & I think Nimmo offers a kind of “Wholesomeness” & “Humility” the Mets haven’t had since David Wright first burst on the scene.
Now the big one, How will Nimmo fair against some major league pitching? In AAA Nimmo was batting .328 in 250 AB’s with a nice .409 OBP. Now Nimmo only hit 5 HR’s in Vegas which isn’t a lot but any stretch of the measure but he also had 16 doubles with an impressive 7 triples which brought his slugging percentage to a respectable.508 in his 63 games. So we’re not going to see much “over the fence” power at first but a lot like Loney, I expect him to split the gaps quite often & occasionally turn some doubles into triples. I expect him to be between .260 & .280 & a slugging percentage that hovers around the .450 mark.
So while I do have some good expectations with Brandon, I’ll say this with him like I say with every single prospect I see come thru the pipeline. He might now explode on the scene like Trout or Machado did, those players are truly one of a kind so I urge people to be patient with the kid & remember, that’s exactly what he is, a kid. Sometimes is takes a player a call up & a demotion or two, to find out what kind of ball player they really are. So be patient people, he’s going to be just fine & so will Michael Conforto, they will be sharing the same outfield soon.