Team Italy's Brandon Nimmo enjoys stellar rookie year for New York Mets

Ranked third in on-base percentage (.379) among 2017 MLB rookies, Team Italy and New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was edged out only by New York Yankees' Aaron Judge (.422) and Philadelphia Phillies' Rhys Hoskins (.396). If that was not impressive enough, only Joey Votto, Mike Trout and three other Major Leaguers with at least 150 at-bats in 2017 had better walk rates than Brandon Nimmo. The promising 24-year-old player from Cheyenne, Wyoming is considered one of  baseball's most patient hitters. He ranked sixth overall in chase rate, swinging at only 16.7 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. To his credit, the New York Mets also promoted Brandon Nimmo to serve as their cleanup hitter late in the season.  Ranked eighth in swing rate on pitches inside the strike zone, the keen eye and plate discipline of the Mets former first-round selection in the 2011 MLB amateur draft have made him one of the game's most difficult hitters to strike out. Team Italy outfielder Brandon Nimmo undoubtedly belongs with baseball's elite alongside fellow 2011 first-round pick position players Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, George Springer and Anthony Rendon.

One reason for the Italian American slugger's recent success at the plate is his improved widespread and crouched stance. In the batter's box, Brandon Nimmo now holds his hands lower and bends both of his knees, which in turn gives him quicker bat speed and allows him to use his legs more in a lock-and-loaded spring-like manner. As opposed to years past when the left-handed batter often favored left field instead of pulling the ball, today Brandon Nimmo hits to all fields with increased power. With his hands low and back, he enjoys a short path to outside pitches, and he turns faster on inside pitches with the increased flexibility in his legs. Mets hitting coaches Pat Roessler and Kevin Long have done a remarkable job in transforming Brandon Nimmo into a human rocket launcher. Known for his relentless work ethic and being a devout man of faith, Brandon Nimmo is on a mission to become a sports hero legend both on and off the field. Team Italy is honored to have such a huge talent and great human being on its roster. Forza #Italia in the 2020 #Olympics!

by Roberto Angotti