Major League Baseball may have left New York Mets’ outfielder Brandon Nimmo off the All Star ballot, but he could still have a chance to participate in the festivities in Washington. One avenue that could open for Nimmo is the Home Run Derby, which is having a bit of trouble filling out its field this year. Nimmo is one of the league’s leaders in OPS and has already launched 12 homers thanks to an increase in launch angle. That could make him a candidate for the Derby, and Nimmo is “intrigued” by the possibility of participating, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
In a year full of disappointment for the Mets, Nimmo has been one of the few bright spots for them, batting .276 with 12 homers and 24 RBI’s while ranking fourth in the National League in on base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.563), and OPS (.958). The only players ahead of Nimmo in those categories are Nolan Arenado, Freddie Freeman, and Eugenio Suarez of the Cincinnati Reds. Nimmo has become a bona fide star, and if he doesn’t make the All Star team it would be fun to watch him participate in the Home Run Derby.
The decision on who participates in the Derby is up to Major League Baseball, not Nimmo, so it will be interesting to see if he gets an invitation from the league. Ordinarily I would advocate against seeing guys like Nimmo participate in the Derby since the event has often lead to slumps with guys altering their swing to try and put on a show for the fans. That shouldn’t be a huge problem for Nimmo, who has made a concentrated effort to hit for more power this year and already has a phenomenal eye at the plate. If the league can’t find enough current stars to fill out the National League half of the field, they should tap a guy like Nimmo, who can set a positive example for young fans due to his enthusiasm and love of the game.