Mike Freire - What Do We Have Here?


As I sit down to write this article, I see that there are quite a few pieces being produced this morning on our potential "budding star" Brandon Nimmo.  I guess that's what a big night in Coors Field will do for you, although this has been going on for a few weeks now.  I briefly alluded to his possible "break out" a couple of weeks ago as a side reference in a different article on who we should keep and who we should potentially trade.

Since the other articles about Brandon have done a great job documenting his development during the 2018 season, I wanted to take a different approach and ask the loyal readers on this blog to consider something that may seem a bit outlandish (at first).  I think Brandon MIGHT be on a similar career path as Bryce Harper.

OK, OK....I can hear people freaking out as they read that last sentence and checking to see if I took my meds.  I want to preface the rest of this piece by stating that I DO NOT think Brandon will be the "next Bryce Harper".  That would be foolish since he is a generational talent and he is poised to be the best player of all time (except for maybe Mike Trout).  Yes, that was a bit of sarcasm because perception and reality are not always the same thing.  Bryce is a wonderful ballplayer and I would love to have him on our team, but his hype is probably a bit outside of his actual production (fueled by his monster 2015 campaign).

So my statement that Brandon MIGHT be on a similar career arc sounds ludicrous when compared to the hype, but not so much if you look at the actual statistics.

Bryce Harper was born in October of 1992, so he is playing the 2018 season as a 25 year old, which so happens is the same age as Brandon Nimmo (who was born five months later then Bryce).  Both players are roughly 6-3 tall, but Bryce has a few pounds on Brandon (220 to 208).  They are both outfielders by trade, although I would argue that Brandon should be in left field on a regular basis and Bryce is where he belongs in right field.

Bryce has roughly 3,000 career plate appearances, which equates to approximately five full seasons of statistics (if we use 600 plate appearances as a "full season" for comparison's sake), so an "average" season would look something like this;

.279/.383/.511 (.895 OPS)

33.8 HR/92.8 RBI/13.6 SB and 109.6 Runs

5.34 WAR  (-0.7 dWAR)

The listed statistics are pretty impressive and I stand by my assertion that he is a wonderful player that any team would like to have in the lineup.  But, how does Brandon stack up to what Bryce has accomplished so far?

For one thing, Bryce made his debut in 2012 as a NINETEEN YEAR OLD so he has a few seasons under his belt. Brandon has been bounced around a bit, but seems to be here for good now (hopefully).  Due to the irregular playing time, he has only accumulated 474 career plate appearances (which is roughly 80% of one full season).  It may be a bit irresponsible to use such a small sample size for comparison purposes, but what the heck.  The rest of the Mets' season has been pretty dismal, so we can use some good news.

If we extrapolate Brandon's statistics across a full season (600 plate appearances), his "average season" to date would look like this;

.274/.380/.479 (.864 OPS)

22.8 HR/62.0 RBI/11.4 SB and 92 Runs

4.30 WAR  (-0.7 dWAR)

Pretty damn similar in a lot of areas, right?  Bryce has a bit more power (for now) and hits in a more advantageous position in the Nationals lineup which tends to score more runs then the Mets edition.  I was a bit surprised at how close the two stat lines actually were, which I think bodes well for Brandon's future.

OR, take a closer look at Bryce's first full season in 2012, which consisted of 597 plate appearances for a more realistic comparison;

.270/.340/.497 (.817 OPS)

22 HR/59 RBI/18 SB and 98 Runs

3.5 WAR (1.5 dWAR)

When you look at Bryce's first year, you realize how good of a player he was right out of the gate.  But, remember that Brandon hasn't even reached 600 career plate appearances yet and his statistics are are pretty close to Bryce's first year.

I think this is pretty heady stuff and I am excited to watch Brandon develop.

Do you think I am crazy?  


Anonymous said...

Too small a sample size to make any worthwhile predictions.

Thomas Brennan said...

Amazing that after his all-world start to his season, Harper is hitting just .213.


Reese Kaplan said...

I again throw Christian Yelich out there as a good comp for Brandon Nimmo.

In a 162 game season Yelich provides .291/16/74 with an OBP of .369 and an OPS of .803. The sample size on Nimmo (and his quantum leap forward) is still pretty small, but if he did what Yelich has done in his career thus far I think most of us would be very happy.

Mack Ade said...

Crazy? No.

Fanatic fan? Yes.

BTW... if the Mets ever sign Harper, I will turn this into a Long Island Ducks site.

Reese Kaplan said...

Are you saying Bryce isn't all he's quacked up to be?

Anonymous said...

Confucius say: "It may be seldom wise to compare any two people for any one reason. Let them be themselves, wiser."

Anonymous said...

Mets fans want Bryce Harper or Bryce Brentz?

I am not a Harper fan. He appears to be the type of player few players really want to play with.


A: Egomonster.

Rather get Machado.

The 2019 NY Mets outfield should be Conforto and Nimmo. Maybe add in either Cespedes or Dominic Smith and leave it at that.

Catcher is an upgrade position for the Mets in 2019. Plus, if they deal deGrom and/or Syndergaard for financial reasons, the Mets will need two more really good young starters.

That's a lot.

Mack's Mets © 2012