‘A lot of blood, sweat and tears’: Brandon Nimmo reflects on his decade-long journey to the playoffs

Brandon Nimmo has admitted he was spoiled when he was first introduced to major league life.

Just a year after the team won the National League pennant in 2015, the Wyoming native made his MLB debut as a part-time player – playing 80 games for a team that made the Wild Card Game which they ultimately lost to the San Francisco Giants.

Regardless, it was only the second time in franchise history that the Mets had played playoff baseball in consecutive years; and the idea that it was a common occurrence was at the forefront of Nimmo’s mind.

Not really.

It’s been six years since the Mets made the playoffs, and Nimmo has emerged as one of the best centers in the National League. And finally, that drought is over with the organization clinching a berth in October following a Monday night victory in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

“I’m obviously in a very different role from being an everyday guy,” Nimmo said. SNY after the Mets’ playoff victory Monday night in Milwaukee. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went down in there. Many years of hard work trying to get to this point.

The New York Mets pose for a photo after a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 in Milwaukee. The Mets won 7-2 to clinch a playoff berth. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

This is Nimmo’s 11th year with the Mets organization after being selected 13th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft.

From an outside corner prospect who never played baseball in high school, he became the leading hitter for the second-best team in the National League. A .386 on-base percentage since the start of the 2018 season ranks ninth most in all of baseball and he has a career-high 65 RBI.

His defense has also made immense strides in recent years, as his above-average strikeouts, as measured by Statcast, are tied for sixth among all center backs in baseball.

“As far as Brandon, he took his game to a different level and a big part of it was durability, knock on wood,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said last month. “Everyone loved him and he only got better. He’s a growing player…He wants to improve so much in everything. He’s so good. He’s the same guy every days. He has become much more confident and vocal.

That confidence will be invaluable in keeping the Mets focused on the task at hand. With their playoff spot clinched, the National League East crown is still up for grabs with a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t take a much-needed break Monday night to celebrate the franchise’s 10th trip to the playoffs.

“It means a lot to do it with the team I was drafted by,” Nimmo said. “2011, I’ve been with this organization for a long time. There has been a lot of hard work and we are excited to celebrate and enjoy it.

For more on Brandon Nimmo and the Mets, visit AMNY.com

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