Mets’ Jeff McNeil secures batting title: “It’s a dream come true”

jeff mcneil, mets
Aug 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) reacts after making an out to end the top of the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets finished the regular season with the same record as the Atlanta Braves, who ended up being crowned the NL East champions by virtue of owning the tiebreaker. Both squads finished 101-61, but the reigning World Series champions will rest in the first round of the playoffs and the Mets will risk elimination this weekend against the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.

The final day of the season, a 9-2 victory against the Washington Nationals, resulted in Jeff McNeil securing the batting title: the versatile player finished with a .326 average, the best mark by a qualified hitter in both leagues.

It was an extremely productive season by the “Flying Squirrel”, as he slashed .326/.382/.454 with nine home runs, 39 doubles, 73 runs, and 62 RBI. After a down 2021, the Mets’ infielder/outfielder wanted to have a bounceback campaign.

The Mets’ hitting machine

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” McNeil told SNY. “This is one of my goals in baseball, to win a batting title, and it was a bunch of hard work and trying to get back to the player I know I could be after the last year. And last year wasn’t a great year for me, so kind of wanted to get back to who I am and was lucky enough to be rewarded for that.”

Citi Field gave him a standing ovation for his cool accomplishment. Even his teammates were proud of him and discussed his season in the media.

“He can hit,” Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor said of McNeil. “I think last year he had probably the worst year of his career and he was hitting the baseball. He’s a really good hitter, and very smart. He goes all over the field, so he had a really good chance of doing it.”

McNeil will be one of the Mets’ X-factors heading into the postseason, and will be tasked with putting the bat on the ball and making hard contact consistently against the Padres’ staff, one of the best in baseball.