Brandon Nimmo Should Be Playing Tonight
Each and every year, there are a number of notable All Star snubs. While some would argue it’s attributable to the every team represented rule, it’s really a function of how many good players there are in Major League Baseball. Mostly, it’s a function of some really bad decisions by people who are supposed to know better. For example, look at the players who were selected as outfielders for the National League:
- Nick Markakis (3.1 WAR, 135 wRC+)
- Bryce Harper (0.0 WAR, 119 wRC+)
- Matt Kemp (1.5 WAR, 137 wRC+)
- Charlie Blackmon (-0.6 WAR, 114 wRC+)
- Lorenzo Cain (4.5 WAR, 125 wRC+)
- Christian Yelich (2.5 WAR, 121 wRC+)
Two things should be immediately noted: (1) none of these players were their team’s lone representative for the All Star Game; and (2) each one of these players were selected by either fan or player vote.
When looking over this list, immediately Blackmon jumps off the page as undeserving. Harper is probably close to it, but with his track record, the game being played in D.C., and his being elected via the fan vote, you can certainly understand why he was an All Star this year.
What isn’t as understandable is why Brandon Nimmo isn’t an All Star.
At the close of the first half of the season, Nimmo is the National League leader in wRC+ (137) meaning he was the best offensive outfielder in the National League.
His 2.4 WAR puts him above everyone except Cain, Markakis, and Yelich. Although it should be noted if we used fWAR instead of bWAR for the analysis, Nimmo would be ahead of Yelich.
More than that, Nimmo is a player from the largest market in the country who is an eminently marketable player.
Nimmo is a guy who is always hustling, and he does everything with a smile on his face. No matter the score, Nimmo gives an honest effort on the field. It’s a large reason why Mets fans adore him. If he was exposed to a larger audience, other fanbases would get a chance so see him, appreciate him, and adore him as well.
And you know with how lazy national broadcasts are, they would go on and on about Nimmo whenever he entered the game. There would be discussions about how he’s always smiling, he sprints around the bases on a walk or homer faster than most players do on a double, and his pointing to the heavens after a walk. Again, marketing him is easy.
In the end, Nimmo and Mets fans lost out on his being an All Star snub. Mostly, baseball missed out on a guy who is everything that is right about the sport. They missed out on an opportunity to market a guy who has had a smile that has lit up the entire city of New York.