New York Mets Player Evaluations: Center Fielder Brandon Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo had a very underrated year in 2020 for the New York Mets continuing to hold down the leadoff spot in their order. His incredible ability to combine his walks and power made him an instrumental player in the Mets order. Despite his amazing offensive prowess, he ranked as one of the worst defensive center fielders in baseball.

Nimmo started the season slow hitting the ball but his ability to get on base with ease. Through his first 18 games, he hit .218 with a .427 on-base percentage and 18 walks with the same amount of strikeouts. In the rest of his 37 games, his numbers were on an All-Star level. There is a slight caveat, most of his at-bats came against right-handed pitchers.

Either way, his slash line of .305/.393/.534 with six home runs and 13 RBIs is very impressive. His walk rate and strikeouts rates also decreased because he was more aggressive early in the count. It was Nimmo’s first season, where his strikeout rate finished below 20%. He also kept his walk rate in the top 10% in the league. Nimmo also became someone defenses could not shift against. His wOBA against the shift increased by almost 200 points, and it was due to him raising his average on offspeed pitches. He batted .233 in 2020 compared to a lousy .032 during the 2019 season.

Defensive Struggles

Nimmo was forced into center field duty because none of their better defensive players could produce like him offensively. He had a -4 outs above average and a -5 defensive runs saved in center field. Despite having good speed, he could not combine it with getting good jumps and taking correct angles to the ball. Nimmo held his own in right field, but it is tough to see the Mets going forward with him as their everyday center fielder during 2021.

He is heading into his second year of arbitration and will likely get somewhere around $6 million-$8 million in an increased salary. Nimmo’s ability to combine a great eye at the plate with good power makes him a versatile leadoff hitter. The drawbacks come in his center field defense and that he became a platoon player as the season carried on, only hitting .180 against lefties.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 60 (55), Hitting lefties will be the difference between Nimmo being a .300 and .270 hitter.

Power: 60 (60), Would have been on pace for 23 home runs in a full season.

Run: 50 (45), Lost a step this season but still capable of batting leadoff and stealing 10-15 bases.

Arm: 45 (45), 3 Outfield Assists on the Year.

Field: 45 (40), Can’t play center field but should be serviceable everywhere else.

New York Mets Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (9/21-9/23)

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets try to hold on to their small hopes of making the postseason as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series. The Rays are the best team in the American League, and the Mets need a sweep to keep their chances alive.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Monday, (9/21) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Pete Fairbanks (5-3, 2.74 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (4-1, 2.08 ERA)

Tuesday, (9/22) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Blake Snell (4-1, 3.05 ERA) vs. Seth Lugo (2-3, 4.34 ERA)

Wednesday, (9/23) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Tyler Glasnow (4-1, 4.21 ERA) vs. TBA

Jacob deGrom makes his first start after hamstring spasms forced him out after two innings. The poor start dropped him back in the Cy Young race, but two more great starts from deGrom could do plenty to get him his third straight Cy Young. Also, the Mets need a great start out of him as he tries to contend with the tough Rays offense.

Injuries were not the cause of reason for Seth Lugo’s last start. Balls flew all around Citizens Bank Park, and it was evident his swing and miss stuff was non-existent. Despite the Mets winning the game, it put the rotation for game one against the Braves in shambles.

Rays Pitching Depth

The Rays pitching is one of the biggest reasons they are a World Series contender this season. They have a 3.66 ERA and rank second in the AL in strikeouts. Twelve different pitchers have started games for them, and the same amount have recorded saves. Manager Kevin Cash has weapons to use at any time and is not afraid to use them in big moments.

Young upstart Brandon Lowe is emerging into a start this season. He leads the Rays in all three triple crown stats, hitting .272 with 13 home runs and 33 runs batted in. Lowe also leads the Rays in hits, walks, runs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Key Stats

Blake Snell vs. Todd Frazier: 1-for-8 (.182), Walk, Strikeout

Michael Conforto during Wins in 2020: .419/.537/.756, 8 Doubles, 7 Home Runs, 15 Walks, 17 Strikeouts

Brandon Nimmo w/2-Out during 2020: .341/.400/.610, 3 Doubles, Triple, 2 Home Runs, 3 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom Career vs. Rays: 2 Starts, 1.88 ERA, 14.1 IP, 15 Strikeouts

 

New York Mets: Peterson’s 10 Strikeouts Highlight 7-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

After getting three straight starters lasted no more than two innings, David Peterson had the tall task of stopping the slump the New York Mets starting rotation are in. Peterson went far and above the call of duty striking out a career-high 10 Atlanta Braves in the Mets 7-2 victory.

Peterson lived up to his top prospect status in this big start. He held the Braves to one run over the six innings he pitched. His slider was one of the major reasons his strikeouts were up, and it was impressive to see him shut down a lineup that scored 15 runs the previous night.

In the seventh and eighth, Miguel Castro, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson combined to keep the lead into the bottom of the eighth. It allowed them to add some insurance runs late in the game.

Patience is Key

Braves starter Ian Anderson held hitters to a .130 average but allowed ten walks over 21 innings. They paid close attention to their scouting report, drawing three straight walks to begin the bottom of the first. Robinson Cano got the Mets on the board with a two-run single to the opposite field to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

The only other run the Mets got off Anderson was an RBI single from Robinson Chirinos in the fourth inning. Depsite Anderson struggles, Atlanta’s bullpen held the Mets silent until Chris Martin entered in the eighth. He allowed back to back home runs to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano to being the inning. Brandon Nimmo finished it off with a two-run single to extend the Mets lead to 7-2.

It was a win the Mets needed, as all of the games have become must-win games. The rubber game of the series comes down to Kyle Wright and Rick Porcello. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Four Run Ninth Inning Catapults 10-6 Win

The final game of the series for the New York Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies was all about surviving and advancing to the next game. Their starting pitcher did not make it out of the second inning, seven combined runs were scored in the first inning, and two pitchers had to throw on their third consecutive day. Despite all of it, the Mets lived to steal a 10-6 victory from the Phillies.

The Mets immediately got a lead for Seth Lugo in the first inning. Dominic Smith‘s RBI double followed by Robinson Cano‘s two-run single gave the Mets an early 3-0 lead. After Lugo struck out the first batter he faced, it was clear he had nothing on the mound.

He allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs to give back the lead as quickly as the Mets got it. After allowing a Jean Segura triple, Adam Haseley drove him in to give the Phillies a 4-3 first-inning lead. Lugo allowed another two runs in the second inning and had to be replaced with Erasmo Ramirez.

Uphill Battle

The Mets bullpen gave them everything they needed and more for the second straight night. Ramirez started with 2.1 shutout innings, Chasen Shreve followed with another 2.1 scoreless innings. During that period, a Pete Alonso solo homer and Brandon Nimmo‘s two-run triple got the Mets even with the Phillies in the sixth.

After Jeurys Familia got through the seventh, he ran into trouble in the eighth. Justin Wilson came in for a third straight game an showed the ill-effects of all the work. Wilson could not locate anything and walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases. Luckily he found the strike zone on one pitch to get Didi Gregorius to pop out and survive the eighth.

The Mets offense came alive in the ninth inning. Nimmo led off the ninth with a home run, Smith had an RBI triple, and Cano capped it off with a two-run home run. Things did not come easy for Edwin Diaz in the bottom of the ninth. He was also in for the third straight day but worked around three walks, getting the Mets a big win.

On Friday, the Mets begin a three-game weekend series against the Atlanta Braves. Steven Matz makes his return to the rotation and faces Cy Young candidate Max Fried. The first pitch from Citi Field is at 7:10 p.m. ET.

New York Mets: Disappointing as Ever in 4-1 Loss to Phillies

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets needed to take game one of their series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Much like they have all season, they disappointed and forgot to show up in their 4-1 loss. They beat themselves in every way a team possibly, adding more pain to their season.

It was precisely the type of game we have come to expect from the lackluster Mets. They stunk with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-6 in those situations and leaving 12 on base. As usual, team disappointments, Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso each left five on base on their own.

The poor play translated to their baserunning and fielding as well. With manager Luis Rojas at the helm and working with plenty of these players in the minors, it is tough to see a team he manages play poorly. After another infuriating loss, it is all but confirmed that the Mets will not make the playoffs this season.

The lone Mets run came from a Brandon Nimmo solo-home run. Everything else for the Mets offense was ugly as can be. Another ugly detail from the game was how much of a better manager Joe Girardi is compared to Luis Rojas. Thankfully the incompetent fools who opted against Girardi are selling the team to Steve Cohen.

Porcello Struggles Again

Rick Porcello was signed as the Mets number five starter and unfortunately had higher expectations with a poor Mets rotation. He allowed four runs over six innings pitched, keeping his ERA above six. Porcello was the worst starting pitcher in baseball during 2019, so his 2020 performance should be no surprise.

A bright spot comes in Edwin Diaz‘s performance, where he struck out the side in the ninth inning. His ERA dropped to 1.80, but the Mets never give themselves a lead where they can use him to win. The loss to the Phillies was their sixth in eight games.

On Wednesday, the Mets send Jacob deGrom to the mound against the Phillies. The focus moves on to the Cy Young race as the first pitch is another 7:05 p.m. ET start from Citizens Bank Park.

 

New York Mets: deGrom Holds Phils, Offense Does The Rest in 14-1 Win

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets had their best all-around win of the season as they ride seven strong innings from Jacob deGrom to a 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Sunday’s matchup set up as a pitchers duel between deGrom and Aaron Nola, but deGrom showed why he is the best pitcher in the game.

deGrom held the Phillies to one run over seven innings with 12 strikeouts. Out of his 108 pitches, 35 of them were swing and misses. deGrom pitched with two different game plans, using his fastball predominantly in the first three innings then shifting to his slider. The lone Phillies run came on an Andrew Knapp home run in the second inning.

Aaron Nola did not have anywhere near the success he had during his last outing against the Mets. His defense hurt him at times, but he allowed six runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings pitched. Nola surprisingly struck out 10, despite allowing two home runs. He also allowed seven hits to left-handed batters after allowing only six hits to them all season.

Scattered Scoring

The Mets offense showed how potent they could be in their 14 run, 17 hit, 12 extra-base hit, and four home run effort. Seven different Mets recorded hits, and out of those, four of them had multiple-hit games. They scored in six out of eight innings, capping it off with a seven-run eighth inning.

Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto were anchors at the top of the order. They had three hits each, including a home run for Nimmo and two doubles for Conforto. Dominic Smith had four hits, including three doubles and three RBIs. Pete Alonso homered twice for two of his three hits, all of them hit at high velocities.

It was the laugher of a game the Mets have searched for, and their offense also went 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position. After a tough streak of losses, the Mets now have wins in four out of five games and are just three games under the .500 mark.

David Peterson hopes to get the Mets their third win and final win of the series. He faces former Met Zack Wheeler, who is making his first start as a visitor at Citi Field. The first pitch is another 1:10 p.m. start.

New York Mets: Rosario Walks it Off in 4-3 Victory

If you are a fan of the New York Mets, the last 20 minutes of their game against the New York Yankees was filled with happiness. You found out that Steve Cohen is the last name remaining for the sale of the team, and Amed Rosario walked off, in Yankee Stadium, against Aroldis Chapman. The two-run homer gave the Mets a 4-3 victory and moved the Mets to 15-16 on the season.

The seventh-inning comeback started with an eight-pitch battle, which led to a Jeff McNeil walk. Billy Hamilton pinch ran and ended up stealing second to move in scoring position for Rosario, who was pinch-hitting for Luis Guillorme. He worked himself into a 2-0 count and drove a hanging slider into the empty left-field bleachers for the “road” walk-off.

Peterson Survives Through Four

In his first start off the IL, David Peterson gave the Mets four innings and allowed three runs. He ran into trouble with one bad inning during the third. He allowed all three Yankee runs and walked three in the third inning. If it were a nine-inning game, Peterson likely would have pitched the fifth as well.

Like game one, the Mets bullpen held the Yankees scoreless and gave the Mets a chance to come back. It goes overlooked, but the Mets could have easily allowed the Yankees to pull away through the middle innings.

Dominic Smith led the way once again for the Mets offense. He had two hits, including a double and an RBI. Brandon Nimmo also contributed an RBI double as well and is right behind Smith for the team lead in extra-base hits.

The Mets have not announced a starter for Saturday’s game, but they will face off against J.A. Happ. The first pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo has taken his offensive game to another level

If you are a New York Mets‘ fan, you are probably familiarized with the fact that Brandon Nimmo’s batting eye is among the best in the league. Many folks may think that’s an exaggeration, but it’s really not.

This year, he’s taking things to another level. In addition to sporting the fifth-best walk percentage in the bigs with 19.3%, the New York Mets’ outfielder has made strides in other aspects of his game that make him among the most valuable assets on the team.

Nimmo is currently sporting career-highs in walk percentage, isolated power (.227), slugging percentage (.489) and wRC+, with 158. Most notably, he trimmed his strikeout rate from 28.0% last season and 26.1% in his career to just 19.3% in 2020. That is impressive in our current environment, where pitchers are throwing harder and striking out more people than ever before.

In fact, he has managed to improve his contact skills. His 7.3 SwStrk% (swinging strike percentage) is the lowest in his career so far, and his 80.4 contact percentage is the second highest.

The Mets’ sparkplug

Of course, the sample size is still too little to take things for granted. For all we know, he couls regress at any moment. But he is a big reason why the New York Mets’ offense is regarded as one of the best in the league. He is the catalyst, the one element where all starts.

Nimmo’s .430 OBP is the tenth best in MLB, and look at some of the names that are in front of him: Paul Goldschmidt, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Michael Conforto. That’s pretty good company.

Health has been on his side so far after some injuries last season and a heart scare in 2020. That alone has played a big part in Nimmo’s resurgence. But he has worked hard to improve in the batters’ box and so far, the results are encouraging.

New York Mets: Offense Puts the Game Away Late in 8-3 Victory

Tuesday’s game for the New York Mets started with some worry as David Peterson landed on the 10-day Injured List with left shoulder fatigue. Corey Oswalt received the spot start and survived long enough that the Mets offense gave him the support he needed.

Oswalt lasted 4.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, no walks, and striking out four Marlins. He retired nine in a row at one point before running into trouble in the fourth inning. For a spot start on late notice, it was about the best the Mets could ask for. Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, and Dellin Betances had shutout outings after Oswalt exited.

Edwin Diaz had a chance to finish off the victory but labored through his one inning of work. Francisco Cervelli led off with a double and a couple of infield singles, with a throwing error from Diaz got the Marlins a run. From that point, Diaz calmed himself down to strike out the final three batters he faced to end the game.

Plenty of Offense

For the second consecutive night, the Mets offense gave their pitching plenty of runs to work with. Brandon Nimmo led the way, finishing just a double short of the cycle. Amed Rosario had a much-needed breakout night with the bat. He recorded his second home run of the season and drove in three runs. Every Met in the starting lineup except Jeff McNeil and Tomas Nido recorded a hit.

The Mets went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. When the offense records multiple hits w/RISP then they can live with a night like this. The issues arise when they record zero or one hit in these critical situations.

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound on Wednesday as he tries to make it three straight Mets victories. Pablo Lopez opposes him at 7:10 p.m. ET from Marlins Park.

New York Mets: Bullpen, Offense Comes Together in 11-6 Win

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Wednesday’s 11-6 victory for the New York Mets started they way their losses usually have. Juan Soto tormented the Mets with another three-run home run that landed 466 feet away, above the Coca-Cola corner. The Mets offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning and the Mets did not look back from there.

Brandon Nimmo led off with a home run which got the Mets going quickly. Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith recorded RBI doubles and Andres Gimenez looped a single into left field to tally the fourth Mets run. Surprisingly, in the 10 run effort two and three hitters, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis were the only Mets who failed to record a hit.

Alonso and Smith also hit back to back homers in the sixth gave the Mets a comfortable lead. The key stats for the Mets came in the areas they consistently struggled in. They went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position and 9 of their 11 runs came with two men out. The Mets sat at the bottom of the league in those categories despite hitting well in the rest of the categories.

Alonso’s three extra-base hits were exactly what the Mets have searched for out of him. He was on the brink of breaking out of his season-long slump but a game like tonight eluded him. It was also the first time he batted fifth all season, which seemed to make a big difference.

Bullpen Game

Despite Robert Gsellman receiving the start, it was more of a bullpen game since he only threw two innings. He settled down following the Soto homer in the first inning and the bullpen limited the damage to solo homers. The bullpen allowed three runs in the following seven innings. Of course, Soto got them again for another homer and Starlin Castro along with Kurt Suzuki added “garbage time” home runs.

Dellin Betances had the most impressive outing of all the relievers. He struck out the side in order and looked to be in mid-season form. Brad Brach also made his first appearance after battling COVID-19, throwing the ninth inning. He worked around a home run but looked well. Brach fired plenty of strikes, which is a good sign after spending time on the sidelines.

The Mets attempt a split of the series when David Peterson takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET start. He will be opposed by Austin Voth in Thursday afternoon’s matchup from Citi Field.