Mets rookie Nick Plummer’s first two major league starts produced the kind of stats people like to categorize as video game numbers.
In this case, if you were playing as Plummer in a video game, you might consider increasing the difficulty level.
Plummer was on his first starting lineup for the Mets on Sunday against the Phillies and then again on Monday against the Nationals. He went 4 for 8 (.500) with two homers, a double and five RBIs. The Mets also won both games, thanks in large part to Plummer. His first sepia MLB memory will always be the tying homer in the second deck against Corey Knebel, closer to the Phillies, in the bottom of the ninth inning. The 112.8 mph rocket was the hardest hit ball of the night for both teams, and with a nationwide ESPN audience tuned in, Plummer’s first Major League Baseball start was downright unlikely.
Few rookies get a Sunday Night Baseball moment like this, let alone hear a Big Apple crowd chanting their name like Plummer did as his hot streak erupted throughout Monday night’s game.
“It’s awesome,” Plummer said of the fan appreciation. “Francisco [Lindor] make me turn around. It was about every round, sometimes twice per round. That’s what you envision.
Plummer said after Monday’s game that he took time off when he was on the field. The ever-green-smiling shortstop made the new kid on the block take some time to soak it all in and remember to have fun.
“I’m pretty deadpan when I get between the lines,” Plummer admitted. “He made sure I don’t care. Ultimately, we’re here for the fans. Without them, we kind of have no jobs.
Plummer, a 2015 first-round pick by St. Louis from Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, MI, the alma mater of DJ LeMahieu, has spent his entire adult life in professional baseball. After seven years and five seasons of baseball in the Cardinals’ system — he missed all of 2016 after hand surgery, and the pandemic shut down minor league ball entirely in 2020 — Plummer was granted free agency. in November 2021.
After starting his career with horrible struggles at the lower levels, he finally reached Triple-A in 2021. Plummer posted a .267/.455/.440 slash line in 27 games for the Triple-A affiliate. Has Cards, but it wasn’t. t enough for St. Louis to keep it around. The Mets signed him to a one-year deal — his first-ever major league deal — and after he went 1 for 7 in spring training, the organization got him started the year. at Triple-A Syracuse. Prodigious power emerged there, as Plummer hit six home runs in 24 games before getting the call.
As is usually the case, Plummer’s first major league start was attributed to someone getting injured. When fan favorite Travis Jankowski broke a bone in his hand, the Mets needed someone to fill their fourth outfield role. But then Brandon Nimmo sprained his right wrist, and while he’s been able to avoid the injured list so far, he’s also been benched.
This gave Plummer the opportunity to not only start the Mets’ final two games, but also become the first player in club history with multiple homers after just two starts.
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“We’ve had guys who have fallen, guys who are going to be on the mend,” Plummer acknowledged. “It’s about passing the baton and moving the line.”
Once upon a time, Baseball America ranked Plummer as the eighth-best prospect in the Cardinals system. The Midwestern kid made 1,819 appearances on the board as a Minor League Cardinal, but never got to wear the iconic birds-on-bat uniform in the majors. In 2015, the newly drafted high schooler would never have told you he’d end up on the Mets, and even in his wildest dreams he couldn’t have imagined the last two nights he spent at Citi Field.
“You don’t write it,” Plummer gushed. ” Truly not. Maybe when you’re younger you think about hitting a grand slam, down three in the bottom of the ninth inning. But to actually be here – I’m just trying to play good defense, play behind my guys and put together really good batsmen – trying to keep it simple.
Hilariously, one of the simplest games in a batter’s game, a single, slipped past Plummer as he devastated the ball on Sunday and Monday. The clutch homer on Sunday preceded an RBI double and another homer in his first two at bats on Monday. It wasn’t until he became familiar with extra base hits that Plummer recorded his first MLB single, a classic line into center field from Nats pitcher Paolo Espino.
Plummer was asked after the match if he was disappointed he had to settle for a single after racking up exclusively doubles and home runs.
“No, we take them,” he said. “Every time they touch, we take them.”
The Mets will gladly take any hits they can get from Plummer. No matter what happens on the road, the baby-faced 25-year-old owns a few pages of team history in 2022.