Brandon Nimmo isn’t changing his approach after the Mets’ big payday

PORT ST. LUCIE – Unlike most of his teammates, Brandon Nimmo has yet to start his Pomelo League season.

After last year’s success after a late start to the spring due to the MLB lockout, Nimmo said he is following a similar schedule, hoping to get into a game later this week.

“Then I’ll get into the season,” Nimmo said. “I think that sets me up perfectly for the season.”

And when he gets to the field, Nimmo said he’ll bring the same mentality he’s had since being drafted by the Mets in 2011, even after signing an eight-year, $162 million deal this offseason.

“Everybody’s always said, ‘Yeah, you were a first-round pick, but where from? Wyoming? Really?'” Nimmo said Tuesday before working out at the team’s spring training complex.

“I’ve always carried that chip on my shoulder, having to prove myself,” Nimmo said. “I’m going to put myself in a place to be successful, and if that doesn’t happen, it won’t be because I didn’t turn over all the stones and work hard and be there every day.”

Brandon Nimmo is back in Mets camp with a big new contract and an old approach.Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The chip on the shoulder, Nimmo said, isn’t going anywhere, even with the contract.

“Of course,” said Nimmo. “I hope it never goes away.”

He compared it to what Michael Jordan said in the documentary “The Last Dance”.

“It doesn’t matter what he already did, sometimes he would come up with reasons to be motivated,” Nimmo said. “You have to find something. That’s what I do.”

So what will happen this year, now that Nimmo has a big contract and higher expectations.

“I hold myself accountable,” said Nimmo, who turns 30 this month.

“I think there’s more in the tank for me,” Nimmo said. “Last year was very good, but I think I’m better. I think there’s more meat on the bones, and I need to rank higher.

“Now I have to go prove it.”

Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo fields a ball during Spring TrainingNimmo plans to use some of his free agency experience as fuel.Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Beyond that, Nimmo said, there was a free-agent process that ended well, with him returning to the Mets, but also entering some uncomfortable conversations elsewhere after finishing 2022 with a career-high 5.4 WAR, according to Fangraphs, and several other offenses. categories – including games, plate appearances, hits, doubles, triples, runs and RBIs.

“I heard little things in some meetings of other teams, or even other teams that weren’t for me,” Nimmo said, declining to share what those things were.

“But I’m going to use the doubts other teams had on me to get better,” Nimmo said. “I think that’s what the Mets saw in me, and that’s what they had in me.

“They saw that I was a 5 WAR player and they thought there was more. We will see.”

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