Mets’ Brandon Nimmo is facing another critical role shift in 2024

New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits a double in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Clover Park
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Nimmo could be facing another change to his role with the New York Mets in 2024. Already asked to slide over from center field to left in the aftermath of the Mets signing Harrison Bader on Jan 4., Nimmo may now find himself in the middle of the batting order.

Can Brandon Nimmo replicate his productive leadoff stats at a different place in the Mets’ batting order?

Tim Healey of Newsday (via CBS Sports) broke the news regarding the former 2022 NL Triples leader’s potential redesignation. CBS Sports added further context by saying:

“President of baseball operations David Stearns and manager Carlos Mendoza discussed the possibility with Nimmo early in the offseason and co-hitting coaches Jeremy Barnes and Eric Chavez have continued the dialogue in spring training. Nimmo’s on-base skills make him a natural fit as a leadoff hitter, but he also showed last season with a career-high 24 home runs that he could have potential as a middle-of-the-order presence. Healey mentions Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil as options to move up to the top of the batting order if Nimmo slides down.”

The move is not set in stone. All things considered, Nimmo performed well leading off for the Mets last season. He saw all 592 of his at-bats in the first slot of the order. Over the course of his 151 games in that role, Nimmo hit 24 home runs and dialed in a solid 68 RBIs. His .274/.363/.466 slash line proved his reliable efficiency at the plate.

Nevertheless, Nimmo may have to sacrifice yet again for the betterment of the team. His sample size away from the top of the order (1GP) is too small to decipher the way in which he will or will not thrive at or around the cleanup spot in 2024.

How will Nimmo adjust to a shift in the outfield and now the batting order as well?

Though, Nimmo did register five hits in 18 at-bats along with four stolen bases when hitting ninth in the order back in 2020 and a homer which headlined his 10 hits at second in 2021 for the Mets.

The 30-year-old slugger encouragingly kept an open mind when relinquishing his outfield slot to Bader earlier this offseason. If he carries that same attitude toward the batting order, it could translate to ample productivity and more runs driven in the next season.

The Mets need more action in that department. Their 692 RBIs in 2023 ranked No. 19 in the MLB. Nimmo finished third on the team in the category behind Pete Alonso (118) and Francisco Lindor (98). The hope is that he’ll hold down the middle of the order and help the offense gain more steam for a potential playoff push.

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