Who would lead off for Mets if Carlos Mendoza moves Brandon Nimmo?

Brandon Nimmo Mets
Brandon Nimmo (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Not only is Brandon Nimmo’s defensive role subject to change, but his spot in the lineup also appears to be under siege, as well. 

The longtime leadoff man could see his usual spot at the perch of the Mets’ order shifted at some point in 2024 — at least that is what manager Carlos Mendoza hinted at.

“If everybody is healthy, Nimmo will be in the leadoff spot, for now,” Mendoza said (h/t New York Post). “You play around with all different names, but it’s hard because he is a guy who gets on base, one of the best at getting on base.”

Nimmo’s on-base percentage is unrivaled within the Mets’ ranks. He holds a career .380 mark, which ranks 11th in Major League Baseball since his debut in 2016. 

Mendoza mentioned the likes of Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor as potential leadoff options outside of Nimmo this season citing their ability to pose a stolen-base threat.

Mets Orioles
Francisco Lindor (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

But Marte, 35, is coming off an injury-riddled 2023 season that stemmed from lingering issues from groin surgery. During his debut season with the Mets in 2022, he was an All-Star with an .816 OPS batting in the No. 2 spot.

He holds a career .729 career OPS and a .323 on-base percentage in 1,080 at-bats in the lead-off spot.

Lindor has cemented his place as a No. 2 and 3 hitter within the Mets’ lineup but has extensive experience — and success — from the lead-off spot. He has a .855 OPS and a .341 on-base percentage from the top spot.

“I know Marte has done it before and LIndor has done it before and you go back to who you want hitting in those first few spots,” Mendoza said. “Nimmo has done it for a long time and the on-base is hard to pass.”

Outside of Marte and Lindor, the Mets don’t have any other legitimate leadoff options. While Harrison Bader boasts speed, his career OBP is .310. Jeff McNeil has a .361 OBP but has just 29 career stolen bases in 672 games.

Nimmo is already contending with moving from his natural spot in center field after president of baseball operations David Stearns signed the defensive specialist, Bader. He is expected to shift to left field. 

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