Jeff McNeil carried over his successful 2018 season into 2019 for the New York Mets. The sophomore slump was non-existent for McNeil as he proved himself as one of the best all around hitters in baseball and made his first All-Star team.
Looking at splits for Jeff McNeil by OPS is simply fun
innings 1-3: .910
innings 4-6: .871
innings 7-9: .905
vs RHP: .924
vs LHP: .822
High Leverage: .800
Medium Leverage: .878
Low Leverage .953
Hitting 1st: .907
Hitting 2nd: .874
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) November 7, 2019
The Mets touted McNeil as a potential Ben Zobrist super utility player and he lives up to those expectations. He spent time playing both corner outfield positions and played second and third base. His best position was third, where he had 3 defensive runs saved.
McNeil emerged as the Mets leadoff hitter after Brandon Nimmo struggled in the beginning of the season. McNeil hit .318 with 23 home runs, 75 RBIs and 38 doubles. His power was a surprise this season which elevated him to one of the elite hitters in baseball.
NL outfielders who had a higher wRC+ than Ronald Acuna Jr:
— Ryan Pladino (@NimmoIsElite) November 7, 2019
Along with becoming an All-Star, McNeil showed his ability to spread the ball all over the field. He was the lead man for the batting title until he missed 10 days in August. Crazy to think the Mets almost shipped him away in the Robinson Cano trade.
One of McNeil’s most underrated characteristics was his hustle and drive to win. He never took any innings or plays off and could always be found playing at 110%. The only player with a higher batting average over the last two seasons (min. 800 PAs) is potential back to back MVP Christian Yelich.
McNeil puts the Mets future in a very good spot and will be a big contributor in 2020. With Todd Frazier out of the picture, it should open up an opportunity for McNeil to settle in third base or left field.
Hitting for Average: A+, As good as any in baseball
Hitting for Power: A, No one expected 23 home runs from him
Defense: B-, Not a sparking defender, but good a third
Speed/Baserunning: C, Good baserunner, poor base stealer. Has solid speed though
Intangibles: A, Mets fans and teammates love him and his energy
Overall: A+, He would have a chance to be in the MVP category barring his injury and Pete Alonso’s season