London Series 2024 Primer: Left Field

You don’t have to be named Brandon to play left field in London… but it helps. Continuing our series of London Series Positional Previews, we get to left field.

METS LEFT FIELD: Brandon Nimmo

Picked in the first round of the 2011 draft, the same year that teammate Francisco Lindor was selected by Cleveland, Nimmo has established himself as one of the most reliable hitters on the Mets’ roster and one of the most prolific on-base machines in the game.

Since he reached the majors in 2016, only the true greats of the game (Trout, Soto, Freeman, Judge, Harper etc) have got on base more than Nimmo’s .378 OBP.

The 31-year-old is comfortable anywhere across the outfield and was the Mets’ primary centre fielder over the last two seasons before shifting across to left field this year.

In 55 games this season, Nimmo has seven home runs with 29 RBI and has scored 29 runs with an OPS+ of 112, making him 12% better than the league average.

A vocal contingent of Mets fans were unhappy with their dislike of the World Baseball Classic when closer Edwin Diaz got injured celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic last year, forcing him to miss the entire season. Often forgotten is that Nimmo suffered a similar fate when playing for Team Italy in 2017 when a hamstring injury cost him a place on the Mets’ Opening Day roster.

Nimmo opted out of the 2023 WBC citing that it would be counterproductive to the Mets’ World Series ambitions. [Editor: no comment]

To be fair, injuries have curtailed many of his seasons, although he is currently in a great run, having only missed 14 games over the last three seasons.

The left-hander is the MLB leader for… being hit by a pitch the most times this season.

PHILLIES LEFT FIELD: Brandon Marsh

Selected by the Angels in the second round of the 2016 draft, Brandon Marsh established a reputation as an excellent defensive outfielder.

With opportunities limited in Anaheim by Mike Trout’s presence, he was traded in 2022 for catcher Logan O’Hoppe, in a deal that has worked out very well for both teams.

Phillies coaches have transformed his glove-first profile with the Angels (81 OPS+), turning him into a threat with the bat as well as the glove. In 225 games for Philadelphia, he has a 122 OPS+ (22% above league average).

Like Nimmo, Marsh shifted from centre to left this season and is currently hitting .264 AVG with six home runs, 26 RBI and 20 runs.

In 2022, while still with the Angels, Marsh endured a slump in which he posted a woeful .530 OPS with only two extra-base hits over a 27-game stretch. He broke out of it with two homers against the Mets. Two homers in London will be a very welcome sight for one the the Phillies less-high-profile stars.

Featured image photos by Tim Nwachukwu, Jim McIsaac, Rich Storry, Eakin Howard (Getty Images)


Make sure you check out our other London Series primers…

Article by @GavTramps. Look out for the Bat Flips & Nerds crew in London. We have Tom and Darius backstage getting content you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Puppet master John will pull the strings with incisive interviews and bamboozling vocabulary. Russell will bring world-class analysis into the discussion, Rachel (#properjournalist) will provide coverage for nationwide outlets, and Rob, Ben, and the rest of us will be mingling with the crowds in Stratford and Trafalgar Square. Come and say “hi”.

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