6/19/18

Tom Brennan - THE NIMMO MODEL

9 comments


Tom Brennan - THE NIMMO MODEL

Some guys are good at fixing stuff. 

Like that fine, friendly handyman Brandon Nimmo.

Besides his hugely timely 10th homer Sunday,  Nimmo also stroked 2 more homers on Monday and now is flashing a stunning and terrific .287/.410/.602 stat line through Monday.


In case you were wondering, that .410 OBP? 

5th best in the majors.

That .602 slug %? 

4th best in the majors.


WOW!  WOW!  WOW!


In a recent Post article, Zach Wheeler said of Brandon Nimmo, “Everything he does is done with a purpose and he works hard and it is starting to pay off for him. He’s unlocking some stuff.’’  

Nimmo himself said “I had to go through struggles and re-identify myself and keep adjusting."


And that is what sets him apart – not that he is doing so incredibly well now – it is that, unlike many guys, he seems to have strenuously looked at all of his shortcomings and addressed them head on.


The guy drafted high in the first round in 2011 was a puzzler to, frankly, all of us.  Let's recap his progress:

He had a brief cup of coffee in 2011, but hit just .248 in 2012 in Brooklyn.  Just 79 games in 2 years.

On to Full A ball in 2013, Nimmo still missed some games, but did play 110 games, fanned a very high 131 times, and hit just 2 homers.  I was not feeling great about this 1st round pick at this point - at all.  Even Jayne Mansfield felt he was a bust.


However, in his 4th season in 2014, he had a fine half season in St Lucie (.322/.448/.458). 

He, however, only managed .238/.339/.396 in Binghamton in the second half of his year 4 season. Compare to Tim Tebow currently in Binghamton in his 2nd year: .239/.324/.367. 

At that point of progress in their respective careers, you have doubts about both, although Nimmo’s Ks dramatically improved to 105 in 127 games showed he was fixing some things.


In 2015, injuries limited the Nimster to 376 at bats and hit a mensa mensa .269/.362/.372.  Doubts were increasing in the minds of the fan base, of which I am one.


In his 6th season in 2016, he exploded in Vegas, although as he was doing so, you had to wonder how inflated those #s were by playing in one of baseball’s hitter-friendliest parks. 

He went .352/.423/.541 in 97 games. Enough!  Call up time!


Mets fans had just been through a whole string of hitter call ups in 2015, all of whom (except for Michael Conforto) had one thing in common – an utter inability to hit! 


So forgive me for thinking Brandon might follow suit when he was called up.  But, I was wrong, mostly.  

He hit .274 in 80 plate appearances, but his negative was his only being able to produce 2 extra base hits - very unimpressive, even if his lone homer was a true blast.  

So some doubts were erased – not all. I needed to see more.


Moving forward to 2017 with my having some degree of anticipation of possible success for Nimmo, he started 2017 with 2 injury setbacks: first, a badly pulled hammy in the WBC “Classic”, and then an injured hand. 

When he finally made his season debut, Brandon spent a good chunk of time in the minors and doubts crept back in – in 47 minor league games, mostly in Las Vegas, he hit a paltry .227. 

Another bust-in-progress?  Sure felt that way.


But...nope.  NOT a bust.

He got called up by the Mets in mid-2017 and in about 210 plate appearances, he hit a far better .260/.379/.418.  

He seemed to have done enough to be deemed ready to assume a starting OF position in 2018. 

BUT:


The Mets must have thought otherwise, re-signing Bruce for 3 years, $39 million.  With budding star Michael Conforto due back in early 2018 as a sure starting outfielder, and 3 more years of the team’s anchor Yoenis Cespedes, plus the returning Juan Lagares, it was unclear whether Brandon would get any meaningful playing time whatsoever.


But these are the achy, breaky Mets.  “Mets” if you didn't know is a word derived from the ancient Latin word meaning “frequently and inexplicably injured.”  Mirabile dictu.


Cespedes misses a ton of games.  Achy, achy.

Lagares? His usual extended trip to sick bay.  Breaky, breaky.

Bruce (achy) and Conforto (achy) have struggled mightily. 


AHA! Brandon’s golden opportunity! And he grabbed it with gusto.


Back to that adjusting stuff mentioned at the start of the article, Brandon has surely adjusted his power game.  A .410 OBP and a .602 slugging % says it all, frankly.


Nimmo is a guy who clearly saw his career abilities shortcomings and addressed them.  Addressed them ALL.


Too many Ks early in his career?  FIXED.


Lack of power in most of his minors seasons?  FIXED.


Average lousy in AAA in 2017?  FIXED.


Can’t type 100 words a minute?  I have no idea if that’s true, or if Brandon fixed it, but it is a skill that a baseball player (not named Jim Bouton) does not need.  So let’s skip that one.


FIXED.  Brandon is why I feel Jeff McNeil has real potential, because he falls into the fairly rare club (along with TJ Rivera) who realized their shortcomings that would impede or prevent their climb to the major leagues and FIXED them.


McNeil and Rivera were both very good hitters with very little power – both FIXED that resume killer by adding power, and Rivera, like Nimmo, has experienced real major league success.  I believe McNeil (3 hits for Vegas last night) will too, before we know it.


But back to Brandon Nimmo – great guy who is turning into a great player, and I for one am willing to admit that back in 2012-15, I was greatly mistaken about his baseball ceiling.


Because he FIXED it. 

He is a man of great faith. 


We should have had more faith in him.

We do now.  Doubters transformed to shouters.

NIMMO!










 




9 comments:

Rob said...

Great draft pick by Sandy. He told us when he was drafted that it would take some time with Brandon because the lack of school ball. It is so good to see guys like Nimmo, that have fun with the game, to have success.

Erica Lay said...

Just goes to show that some folks take a bit longer than others to come full circle. NY is not known for its patience but it really can pay off to wait for a young player with talent to develop.

Thomas Brennan said...

Brandon took a really long time to develop but he is firing on all cylinders this year! Worth the wait.

And, Erica, yes, worth the patience.

Reese Kaplan said...

In the case of Jeff McNeil who is already 26 freakin' years old and JUST last week sent to AAA, he must think that patience is NOT a virtue.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I think Jeff knows he really missed 2 years, but that said, he is very hopeful things will open up for him soon. I fully believe he feels he is ready right now.

One would think that if this team falls out of contention (the last 3 wins making the picture more murky), Cabrera could well be headed elsewhere, opening up the 2B job for Jeff.

Nimmo's come-from-behind homer Sunday to turn another painful loss into a surprising win may have delayed McNeil a bit. If the two All Star caliber guys (Cespedes, Thor) were to return soon, as improbable as it is, the team could make a wild card run. Being 7 games below .500, rather than 9 below, as they would have been had they lost Sunday, makes the decision team a little more apt to hope for a miracle like the one in 2015.

Mike Freire said...

Well said.......it is EARLY, but he is on a Bryce Harper arc, believe it or not.

(I put an article in drafts that fleshes this out a bit)

He is a keeper, along with Conforto......I would get Yo healthy and deal him to
an AL contender so he can DH, etc.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mike, I think Yo is now almost untradeable - he is still owed about $72 million, and if there was a clear sense this injury matter was behind him for the next 2.6 seasons, he'd probably look reasonably priced...but if, due to injuries, he only plays 50% of the time at 80% ability, it would seem the Mets might have to eat $40 million to make it worth the risk for the acquiring team - and this team does not eat $40 million.

If he can get healthy and play unimpeded for an extended period of time, maybe he is a great trade next year or this off season.

Thomas Brennan said...

A former teammate of Nimmo is pitching for OKC against Las Vegas today - Tyler Pill.

Pitching mostly in non-Vegas normal altitude and humidity, he is 2-2, 4.18 ERA this year. Not bad.

Reese Kaplan said...

Anyone is tradeable if you have a smart GM. Pay down half of Yo's contract and someone will bite. You save half and another team gets a bargain.

Wait, the Mets have Sandy Alderson. Nevermind. Go back to your regularly scheduled dumpster diving and inertia.

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