The MLB recently announced a slew of rule changes coming to the Majors in 2023. The eliniation of the shift on defense is the buzziest of these changes, but fans shouldn't sleep on the other two. This includes a 15-second pitch clock and bigger bases.
There will be players who benefit, and those who are hurt, by the incoming changes. The Athletic's Eno Sarris analyzed the upcoming changes and lists New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the larger bases.
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It might be surprising to hear. Nimmo ranks just fifth on the team in stolen bases (3) and has never reached double-digit stolen bases in any year of his career.
Sarris outlined three general groups of runners in his analysis: the best base stealers (think Trea Turner), the slow guys (Luke Voit) and the ones that fall in the middle (Nimmo).
That group of fast runners already take off an impressive rates and while those rates will increase, but it's not enough of a proportionate change. This similarly applies to the Luke Voit's of the world. Shrinking the distance between bases by 4.5 inches isn't enough to justify Voit beginning to swipe bags.
It's the middle group that Sarris calls the "most fascinating." The players that are "kinda fast." Betwen the shortened base paths and decreased attention from pitchers (because of the pitch clock), the players in this group stand to benefit the most. Sarris reports the rule changes allotted for an extra 1.5 steal attempts per game. Will Nimmo double, or even triple his stolen base attempts because of these factors?
Only time will tell.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.