Batter’s Box: And Nimmo Was His Name-O

Jonathan Metzelaar covers yesterday's notable offensive performances, including big games from Brandon Nimmo, Alex Bregman, and Austin Meadows.

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire

When you’re a fan of an organization like the New York Mets, any time there’s a positive development for the team, you have to cherish it like a priceless gift. Oh, they won a road series. Great. Oh, Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .307. Awesome.

The problem is, this is the same organization that thinks signing guys like Jose Bautista and… I can’t even say it. Honestly, I can’t even say it. His name rhymes with Grim Mebow. This is the same organization that thinks these are smart, competitive, not at all embarrassing decisions. So sometimes finding the positives becomes hard, and I find that my threshold for what constitutes good news becomes lowered. Oh, Michael Conforto didn’t trip over a sprinkler while shagging flyballs and tear his ACL. Great. Oh, MLB still recognizes the franchise as an actual team and not the collection of vaguely self-aware, human-shaped turds that they actually are. Awesome.

That’s why when Brandon Nimmo went 4-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 2B, BB last night, it felt amazing. Not because he’s necessarily a budding superstar, but because my expectations when it comes to this team have been ground down into a sad little nub. Though maybe there is something here. After all, he’s just 25 years old and has been posting Votto-like walk rates for two seasons now (15.3% last year, and 17.4% this season). He has three homers and three steals now through 109 plate appearances, and though there have been questions about how much power he possesses, he seems to be making a concerted effort to make the most of what he has this year. He’s currently posting career-highs in hard contact (38.2%) and flyball rate (50%), and he has upped his launch angle to 19 degrees, which is right where you want to be for home runs. Not only that, but he’s whiffing at just an 8.2% clip and making above-average contact. xStats has him pegged for 5 xHR to this point, which would put him on pace for 30 homers over a 600 at-bat season if things broke right for him. Considering the Mets’ penchant for injuries, there’s a chance Nimmo could find enough at-bats to break out someday soon. Though with the great Jose Bautista around, playing time will probably be hard to find.

Alex Bregman (3B/SS, Houston Astros): 2-4, R, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, BB – Alex is putting the “man” in “Bregman,” which I guess is a lot easier than putting the “Breg” in “Bregman,” since Breg isn’t anything. Anyway, he’s hitting .385 over the past week with two homers and two stolen bases, and so far this season is walking (14.5%) more than he’s striking out (11.2%).

Austin Meadows (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates): 3-4, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI – Huh. That’s now three homers for Meadows already in just 25 at-bats, and he’s only struck out once so far. Starling Marte is nearing a return though, and there’s nowhere to play him after that happens. Perhaps the Pirates could get him in the lineup a couple of times a week once everyone is healthy, but, well, it’s the Pirates, so don’t count on them even trying.

Salvador Perez (C, Kansas City Royals): 2-4, 4 RBI – Salvador means “savior” in Spanish. And Perez means “Perez” in Spanish. This has been Spanish Minute with Jonathan Metzelaar. Perez is already up to eight homers and 26 RBI this year despite missing some time with an injury he sustained while trying to carry “un equipaje.” That means suitcase in Spanish. This has been Spanish Minute with… okay, you get it.

George Springer (OF, Houston Astros): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB – It’s pretty easy to forget that Springer once stole 45 bases in the minor leagues considering how little he’s run these past few years. He stole more bases yesterday than he had in his 48 games prior, and he’s now up to a whopping three stolen bases this year, putting him in striking distance of last year’s total of five. Sorry, I’m trying to make Springer getting to six steals this year exciting, and it’s hard. Stolen bases notwithstanding, Springer has been very hot lately, batting .373 with four homers over the past 15 games. And the Astros have been running wild lately, so six steals is within reach this year. We believe in you, George! Don’t let us down!

Adam Jones (OF, Baltimore Orioles): 3-6, 3 R, HR, RBI – Rookie Adam Jones was like, “You’ll never be able to walk less than 2.6% of the time like I did,” and then 2018 Adam Jones was like, “Hold my beer.” Jones is doing his thing, walking 2.4% of the time yet still making enough contact and pairing it with enough power to be useful. He’s hitting .323 over his last 15 games with four homers, and is now up to nine homers on the year.

Wilson Ramos (C, Tampa Bay Rays): 3-4, 2 RBI – It looked like Ramos might miss some time with a hand injury, but instead he went and gave the Red Sox a head injury. Not literally, because he’d probably be arrested for that, but you know, like a figurative headache? Yesterday’s performance pulled Ramos’s average up to .301 on the year. His 41% hard contact would be a career-high, but his incredibly high 55% groundball rate will likely cap any power moving forward unless he improves upon it.

Denard Span (OF, Tampa Bay Rays): 2-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 BB, SB – Span is currently posting career-high hard contact, line drive, and walk rates, but has just a .248 BABIP and .229 average to show for it. He’s likely a safe bet for double-digit homers and steals if you need a reliable player to plug into your lineup while you wait for something nicer to walk your way, you dog you.

Jesse Winker (OF, Cincinnati Reds): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI – You know, a lot of our last names were given to us based on the professions of our ancestors, so I’m kind of wondering whether Jesse Winker descends from a long line of professional creeps. Anyway, that’s the first long ball of the year for Winker, who never developed the power scouts had imagined he would by now.

Eugenio Suarez (3B, Cincinnati Reds): 1-4, R, HR, 4 RBI – Suarez is now up to an incredible 38 RBI on the season despite a DL stint earlier in the year. He’s hitting just .208 over the past week, but his overall triple-slash of .280/.356/.568 is still impressive and his 18% strikeout rate is well below his 23% career rate.

Manny Machado (SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles): 3-5, RBI Manny Machado is great, and you should feel great for drafting him. Oh, you didn’t? Well this is awkward.

Jake Marisnick (OF, Houston Astros): 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI Jake Marisnick came here to strike out and chew bubble gum. And he’s all out of bubble gum. And strikeouts. So, uh, I guess he’ll just homer. Marisnick and his 46% strikeout rate have returned thanks to a Josh Reddick DL stint, but a minor leaguer Marisnick art, and unto the minor leagues Marisnick shall return.

Brandon Dixon (OF, Cincinnati Reds): 3-4, 2B – It was slim pickings yesterday in terms of notable offensive performances, so Brandon Dixon gets a day in the sunlight. Dixon has flashed mid-teens power and speed in the minors, but there doesn’t seem to be a logical place for him on the Reds roster, unless some cruel fate mysteriously befalls Joey Votto’s head polisher. Not to give you any ideas, Brandon, but…

Jonathan Metzelaar

Jonathan Metzelaar is a writer, content manager, and podcaster with Pitcher List. He enjoys long walks on the beach, quiet dinners by candlelight, and essentially any other activity that will distract him from the perpetual torture of being a New York Mets fan. He's written for Fangraphs Community Research and created Youtube videos about fantasy baseball under the moniker "Jonny Baseball."

One response to “Batter’s Box: And Nimmo Was His Name-O”

  1. Launch Angle says:

    Would you trade Judge for Betts in a standard, season long roto (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG).

    My roster: 1B Freeman; 2B Merrifield; 3B Arenado; SS Correa; OF Trout, Springer, Judge, Rosario; UTIL Bregman, Abreu; DL Dee Gordon.

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