New York Mets hitting stud Jeff McNeil is entering the 2020 MLB season an extremely confident baseball player.
McNeil has been incredible since being called up by the Mets, but he has played multiple positions, in both the infield and outfield. Now that Todd Frazier is gone, it looks like McNeil is going to be the Mets’ everyday third baseman which, he believes, is going to make his life easier.
“… kinda know what I’m doing this year so makes it a little bit easier,” McNeil said when asked how third base will feel this spring, via SNY.
Interestingly, McNeil mentioned the idea he doesn’t really set personal goals, but wants to build on what he did last year.
“Going in really confident this year so hopefully I can go out there every single day, play well, and the numbers at the end of the year are a little better… individual goals are nice, but we want to play well as a team.”
The Mets are a team familiar with players having individual success, but nothing more. Year in and year out, a few players do a fantastic job and have their names thrown around as some of the best in the league at their positions, but the Mets have had difficulty translating that success into postseason play.
McNeil has to be proud of himself and the success he has achieved thus far in his young career. Still, he and his teammates are definitely longing for more.
Because McNeil is a fantastic hitter, we certainly will see him play other positions at least a few times this year. He has this in mind and is ready for it.
“I just kinda go out there and do my thing no matter where they put me, whether it’s left, right, second or third. Just try to be as prepared as possible,” he said.
McNeil was selected by the Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB Entry Draft. He was called up to the majors on July 24, 2018, and never looked back. In a miserable year for the team, McNeil shone. In 63 games, he slashed .329/.381/.471.
Over 567 PA in 2019, McNeil slashed .318/.384/.531, hit 23 home runs and batted in 75 runs. He was named to the All-Star game, and at the time of his selection, he led the entire league with a .348 batting average. He also became the fastest player in Mets history to 200 career hits, which he did in 599 career ABs.
The story of McNeil, similar to that of Jacob deGrom, has been a fairytale for the Mets organization and fans alike—a player who didn’t seem like he would amount to anything turning into a superstar. He will play an incredibly important role in helping the Mets get to October.