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The Mets 2023 Season: Not The Results Brandon Nimmo Could’ve Hoped For After Signing Long Term Deal

The New York Mets selected Brandon Nimmo in the 1st round of the 2011 June Draft out of Cheyenne East, Cheyenne, WY and after five years in the minor leagues, he made his MLB debut on June 26, 2016.

The season prior to Nimmo joining the organization, the Mets won 90 games, clinched the NL East crown and went to the World Series for the first time since 2000, but did not win their first title in 29 years. They lost to the Kansas City Royals, 4-1.

In 2016, the Mets won the Wild Card after winning 87 games, but lost the then one game playoff game to the San Francisco Giants. Nimmo appeared in 32 games that season, and batted .274 (20 for 73), with 12 runs, a double, home run and six RBIs.

Nimmo started the 2017 season in the minors as he suffered a right hamstring strain on March 30th, placing him on the 10-DL. The injury kept him away from the big league club until he rejoined them on June 16th, only to go back on on July 8th with a partially collapsed lung. He recovered and rejoined the club on July 30th and was able to finish out the season. Overall he batted, .260 (46 for 177, with 26 runs, 11 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 21 RBIs.

In 2018, Nimmo played in 140 games, putting up big offensive numbers as he scored 77 runs, had 114 hits, 28 doubles, eight triples, 17 home runs, 47 RBIs, and 80 walks. In Nimmo’s minor league career, he had not hot more than 11 home runs in any season he played in.

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As great as the 2018 season was for Nimmo, the 2019 season was marred by an injury that allowed him only to appear in 69 games. He rebounded in the shortened 2020 season by playing in 55 of the 60 game season. With what would have been equivalent to a full season, Nimmo’s eight doubles, three triples, and eight home runs, may have been better then his 2018 power debut.

On May 5, 2021, Nimmo suffered a left index finger bone bruise and then a right hamstring strain on September 4th, and overall he played in 92 games, but was still able to hit 17 doubles, three triple, and eight home runs.

Entering his walk year of the 2022 season, Nimmo needed a healthy season and big numbers if he was going to be a serious contender for a free agent bonus signing. The Mets center fielder did just that as he appeared in 151 games, batted .274 (159 for 580), scored 102 runs, career high 30 doubles, seven triples, 16 home runs, 64 RBIs and walked 71 times.

The Mets had a great season, sitting in first for the majority of the season, before succumbing to the pressure of the surging Braves, only to lose the division and settle for a Wild Card berth. And just like their previous playoff appearance of 2016, the bowed out in the first round.

From November 6-7, Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, Seth Lugo, Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and Jacob deGrom all joined Nimmo on the free agent market.

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With a good amount of big names choosing to call other teams their home, the Mets went to work and quickly resigned Diaz on November 9th to ensure their All Star closer would return.

Then the Mets made huge moves by spending pallets of money to lure the 2022 AL Cy Young award winner and free agent Justin Verlander, free agent starters Jose Quintana and reliver David Robertson.

Nimmo, who has grown up with the organization, could have gone elsewhere, but he saw the moves the Mets were making and believed that the organization was serious about winning and wanted him to be at the helm at center and leading the club with his hustle and positive attitude.

What happened next really can’t be the fault of the organization, but who takes the blame?

No one saw Diaz going down with a season ending injury during a WBC celebration. No one saw a team full of super stars built on paper to win it all, crash and burn before they even got started.

On April 30th, the Mets were 15-12 and three games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. One month and a day later, New York started to dip as they were 29-27, now in third place and four games. By time June 30th arrived, the Mets were 10 games under .500 at 36-46, and 18.5 games out of first, while sitting in 4th place.

Just four days before the trading deadline, the Mets made some minor improvements as they sat at 49-54, but it was enough for management to avoid pulling the plug on a hopeless season and throw in the white towel. On July 28th, they traded David Robertson to the Miami Marlins for prospects, and just two days later the fire sale continued with the shipping out of Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers. Next on July 31st, Mark Canha joined the exit train as he was shipped to Milwaukee and the Mets finished off their selling spree by sending Verlander back to the Houston Astros and Tommy Pham to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

For all the money the Mets spent in the offseason, all they could show for it was a sub .500 first half and another wasted season for their fan base.

In the mix of all the selling, there sits Brandon Nimmo, a homegrown talent that could have chosen to go to any other team and maybe even chosen a winning organization, but he felt the Mets were poised and set up for a great run. Now, they are in rebuilding mode.

I do feel for Nimmo as he is the ultimate ball player, one that can be captain on any team just by how he performs on and off the field. By no means is he a super star by today’s baseball standard, but if not for his injuries, he is a staple in any lineup and patrols center field as good as any super star outfielder in the league, and sometimes better.

Through 114 games, spanning 437 official at bats, Nimmo is batting .263, with 19 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 49 RBIs, and 58 walks. He recently has been limited due to a left quad contusion, but he has still been in the lineup, just playing left to lesson the stress on his leg.  But in a lost season, maybe rest would be best to enhance his chances of avoiding long term absence.

The Mets have three players that are faces of the team, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and yes Nimmo, and do each of these tremendous ball players want to be a part of a rebuilding organization in teh prime of their careers.  I would think of the three, Nimmo would rather be with a winning club. But with an 8-year contract, he won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

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The hope is that the Mets don’t wait too long to try and turn this free fall around and put together a squad of ball players that will give Nimmo the opportunity to be on a winning team.

Us Mets fans want to win now, the players want to win now, but after we realized that money does not buy happiness, we will settle for a team of winners, maybe we can find a few other Nimmo’s out there, as that type of player brings the swagger this team needs.

We will see what the off season brings for the Mets and if Nimmo will get in 2024 what he signed on for at the end of the 2023; A Winning Team.

 

 

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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