Brandon Nimmo Is Not A Fourth Outfielder
Sometimes, a player gets tagged with a ridiculous label, and no matter how much they do to dispel it, it continues. Maybe it’s because Mike Francesa said it, or maybe it’s because people don’t appreciate him for some reason.
Whatever the case, Brandon Nimmo is not a fourth outfielder.
Calling him that is laughably absurd, and those doing it needs to stop. There is no evidence whatsoever which supports that position.
Nimmo broke out in 2018. In that season, Nimmo surpassed expectations hitting .263/.404/.483 with 28 doubles, eight triples, 17 homers, and 47 RBI. In that season and going forward, Nimmo has established himself as a good baseball player and terrific lead-off hitter.
Since 2018, Nimmo has posted a 140 wRC+. That’s the best mark of anyone on the Mets, and it’s the 12th best in the majors. Among outfielders, he’s ranked sixth.
When you look at WAR, he’s posted a 6.7 bWAR and a 7.3 fWAR. Yes, you’d probably expect that to be higher given his offense. However, there are a few reasons it’s lower.
First, Nimmo dealt with a neck injury in 2019 limiting him to 69 games. That had an impact on his production. However, it’s important to note he came back healthy and proved he could produce at his 2018 levels. He did just that in 2020.
The other reason Nimmo’s WAR takes a hit is because he’s playing out of position in center. As a corner outfielder, Nimmo has a 9 OAA and 4 DRS. As a centerfielder, he has a -1 OAA and -14 DRS. When he’s out of center, his defense doesn’t negatively impact his WAR.
Putting all that aside, Nimmo’s WAR over the past three seasons is 22nd best in the majors. This past season he was ranked 21st.
Looking at the leaderboard, Nimmo would be the best outfielder on 21 of the 30 MLB teams. Only the Dodgers, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Mets have two outfielders ranked higher than him. In terms of the Mets, with Jeff McNeil returning to the infield, that leaves just three teams.
This means if Nimmo were to be dropped on any MLB roster, he’d be one of the best outfielders on that team. Likely, he’d be a top two outfielder on that team.
This isn’t what a fourth outfielder looks like. This is what an All-Star caliber outfielder looks like. That’s really what Nimmo is.
To call Nimmo a fourth outfielder is to say he’s no better than them, and that’s absurd. Nimmo is far better than them. When you look at the numbers, Nimmo is better than the majority of Major League outfielders.