Brandon Nimmo‘s name was in demand during MLB free agency.
He was mentioned as an alternative for teams that failed to sign Aaron Judge.
They aren’t quite the same type of player, but Nimmo can certainly make an impact.
You don’t get $162 million by an MLB team if you can’t make a difference, and Nimmo clearly can.
That prompted the New York Mets to agree to pay that kind of money over the next eight seasons to Nimmo: his difference-making ability.
Nimmo’s calling card is not his power, although he can certainly hit between 15 and 20 home runs per season.
It’s not his speed, even though he led the National League in triples with seven last season.
It’s not his contact, despite the fact he is not a batting average liability.
His primary trait is his ability to draw walks and get on base.
“Only six players have had a higher OBP than Brandon Nimmo over the last six seasons. That’s at the heart of why the Mets paid him well; well-deserved,” MLB insider Buster Olney tweeted.
Only six players have had a higher OBP than Brandon Nimmo over the last six seasons. https://t.co/jF660iWDBH That’s at the heart of why the Mets paid him well; well-deserved.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 9, 2022
An OBP Machine
Nimmo slashed .274/.367/.433 with 16 home runs, 102 runs, 30 doubles, seven triples, and a .800 OPS in 2022.
That on-base percentage is excellent, and it’s even lower than his career mark of .385.
The six players with a higher OBP than that of Nimmo since 2017 are Mike Trout, Juan Soto, Freddie Freeman, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, and Joey Votto.
Nimmo’s mark of .387 since that year is higher than Anthony Rendon, Yordan Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Christian Yelich, Alex Bregman, Mookie Betts, and many other top sluggers and hitters.
Front offices value on-base percentage, especially when it comes over such a large sample size.
If the Mets didn’t pay Nimmo, someone else was going to.