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Mets Notebook: Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor amongst All-Star snubs

PHOENIX — According to Fangraphs, Brandon Nimmo is the 31st-best player in the league right now. However, he will not be among the 64 players in Seattle next week when the MLB All-Star Game takes place. The center fielder might have been snubbed.

Pete Alonso will be the Mets’ lone representative, and while that could change, the Mets understand that their dismal first-half performance probably factored into All-Star voting. Still, they think Nimmo and shortstop Francisco Lindor should have been selected to play in the Midsummer Classic.

“I’m biased, I get a chance to watch him every day and I think you could make the case for two or three guys,” manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday at Chase Field. “I think a lot of it is a reflection on your record too. I get it. You can go around to 29 other clubs and they’ll have a tale of woe.”

Nimmo is having an outstanding season on both sides of the ball. He’s on pace to shatter his previous career-best mark of 17 home runs with 13 of them already. He has made several dazzling plays in the outfield. All of this is reflected in his 2.7 fWAR. Showalter called him one of the premier leadoff hitters in baseball and the manager may not be wrong.

“He’s having a hell of a year,” Pete Alonso said. “Francisco as well, both of those guys are extremely deserving. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Both of those guys are having exceptional years.”

But you could also make the case for each of their omissions.

At one point this season, Nimmo was among the leaders in outs above average for center fielders. However, some recent mistakes proved costly and he slid down the leaderboards in that category, currently ranked 32nd with one out above average and one run prevented.

His power surge has also come more recently. Nimmo worked with hitting coach Jeremy Barnes in the offseason to be able to hit for more power, but swing adjustments aren’t necessarily easy to implement early in the season. One element of the swing would be effective, but that might come at the cost of another. Nimmo felt he was playing whack-a-mole trying to stop problems before they started.

“Maybe we didn’t have it all the way honed in,” Nimmo said. “I was hitting the ball hard and well, especially on the West Coast trip. But you start to figure out, like OK, I have to fix this problem but now there’s another problem and I have to work on that for a while.”

Nimmo has slugged nine home runs since June 8, tied for the fourth-most during that time span. Seven of his 13 total home runs have either tied the game or given the Mets the lead. It’s easy for fans to miss those things when they’re voting.

Plus, Nimmo sees a flaw in the system.

“I think one of the issues with the All-Star selection is that all outfielders are grouped together,” he said. “Until they start treating center field as a different position, it’s going to be hard to find true center fielders in the All-Star game. Even so, I feel like I’ve played well enough to deserve it.”

Lindor’s five outs above average and four runs saved ranks him among some of the best defenders in the league this season. Over the last 26 games, the shortstop has put up gaudy numbers: a .952 OPS with 18 runs, five doubles, seven home runs, 16 RBI, 16 walks and seven stolen bases. His 2.7 fWAR ranks 14th in the National League and his 37 extra-base hits are 13th-most in the NL.

However, he started slow, hitting .223 with 10 home runs over the first two months of the season. His OPS+ was below 100 for much of the first two months.

“Maybe some people wrote him off because of how he started out,” Nimmo said. “But I think that wasn’t the whole story. He’s played like an All-Star for the last two months for us and for the last six weeks it’s been awesome what he’s been able to bring to the table for us offensively, defensively and from a baserunning standpoint. I think he played well enough to earn it.”

The Mets might have some deserving candidates outside of Alonso, but ultimately, between their record and the voting system as a whole, egregious exclusions were to be expected. However, there is one silver lining, as Showalter sees it.

“Selfishly, I’m glad that he’s going to have some time off because he’s been such a rock for us,” Showalter said of Nimmo.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Left-hander Jose Quintana (rib) threw what could be his final rehab bullpen Wednesday in anticipation of another start with Triple-A Syracuse. He’ll start Friday against Triple-A Worcester and throw a simulated game during the All-Star break in anticipation of a return next week.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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