Whether he’s trotting to first base after being hit by a pitch or touching them all after a home run, you can always count on New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo to do it with a contagious million dollar smile on his face. A smile that is quickly taking the baseball world by storm.
Before Opening Day, if you had told Mets fans that Nimmo would be their best hitter nearly three months into the 2018 season, they would have said you were nuts. Nimmo was always a “pretty good, not great” prospect for the Mets, and there was never any indication that the young outfielder from Wyoming would ever be an everyday player in New York, and yet, here we are.
Despite bringing back Jay Bruce to go with Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares in the outfield, and despite being sent to AAA at one point earlier this season, Nimmo found a way to crack the Mets starting lineup as their leadoff hitter with his excellent eye, approach at the plate, and overall hustle in all areas of the game. While the former four have either been struggling or injured, Nimmo has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak Mets lineup.
So far this season, Nimmo has batted a respectful .287, while slugging 12 home runs and driving in 22 runs. While those aren’t the sexiest numbers, it’s his .410 on-base percentage that makes him one of the finest leadoff batters in the game. Then we get to his .603 slugging percentage, which has put him in some very elite company.
There are five players in MLB with at least 12 home runs and an OPS over 1.000. It's a pretty elite group:
1. Mike Trout
2. J.D. Martinez
3. Mookie Betts
4. Freddie Freeman
5. Brandon Nimmo
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) June 19, 2018
No, you’re not reading that wrong. In terms of his OPS, Brandon Nimmo has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season. If that’s the case, then why haven’t you heard of him? Well for one, he plays for a terrible team like the New York Mets, and he had to fight his way into the starting lineup. In fact, despite his excellent numbers, Nimmo is not on the ballot for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington D.C.
Mets fans are now desperately trying to send Nimmo where he rightfully belongs in mid-July, with the team’s social media pages encouraging the fans to write his name in the ballot. Unfortunately, this tactic has never had much success, so the Mets and their fans will need to hope that the MLB will include Nimmo in their traditional “Final Ballot,” where fans can vote for one of five players to be an All-Star.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 19, 2018
Seriously though, how can you not vote for that smile? The Mets are one of the most depressing sports franchises ever, but Brandon Nimmo’s smile, positive attitude, and love for the game will always lift the spirits of even the most pessimistic fan. It’s hard to not love a player like Nimmo, so when the time comes, please do your civic duty and send this kid to D.C. so the rest of baseball can love and appreciate him the way Mets fans do.