DENVER — As a child, Wyoming native Brandon Nimmo said he wanted to be a bull rider.
It turns out his Major League Baseball career will do.
When the Mets made Nimmo their No. 1 pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, signing him for $2.1 million at the age of 18, they were counting on something special. And now he’s delivering.
The center fielder hit his 11th home run of the season Monday night when he led off against the Colorado Rockies with an inside-the-park job. He’s only the third Met ever to produce a lead-off inside-the-park home run, joining Angel Pagan in 2009 and Charlie Neal from 1963.
For good measure, Nimmo blasted a solo shot to center in the seventh inning (his 12th) to give New York a 4-1 lead. He added a 2-RBI single in the top of the ninth, finishing 4-for-6 with four RBIs, two runs scored and two strikeouts as the Mets won 12-2.
Sunday in Arizona, Nimmo led off the game with a double and then put the Mets ahead in the ninth inning with a two-run home run off Brad Boxberger. It was his 10th home run of the season and the performance also marked his second consecutive multi-hit game.
Playing American Legion Baseball for Cheyenne Post 6 in 2011, Nimmo faced the Billings Scarlets and Royals during a summer tournament in Billings. A year earlier, the Cheyenne East High School product batted .448 with 15 home runs and 34 stolen bases in 70 games.
Nimmo made his major league debut June 26, 2016 against the Atlanta Braves and went 0-for-4. A day later he recorded his first hit and scored his first run against Washington Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, finishing 2-for-4. Nimmo jacked his first home run on July 1, a three-run shot off Jason Hammel of the Chicago Cubs.
A year later, he battled health issues and injuries. Nimmo finished 2017 appearing in only 69 games for the Mets, while batting .260 with five home runs.
Nimmo is now making his case to remain an everyday player for the Mets, posting a .402 on-base percentage and .565 slugging percentage through 168 at-bats this season entering Monday’s game at Colorado.