Now that the 2020 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Pete Alonso) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at outfielder Jeff McNeil.
Player Review: Jeff McNeil
2020 Stats: 52 Games, 183 At Bats, .311 Batting Average, 57 Hits, 14 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 23 RBI’s, 19 Runs Scored, .836 OPS, 1.3 WAR
Story: After bouncing around the diamond for most of the 2019 season the Mets tried to find an everyday home for Jeff McNeil in 2020. The initial plan was for McNeil to be the third baseman, but the interrupted spring training and quick turnaround in summer camp left him uncomfortable at the position, leading to some key errors. The Met flipped McNeil and J.D. Davis early on to bolster the defense and the move worked, allowing McNeil to focus more on his hitting. McNeil did hit into quite a bit of odd luck early in the year but got hot down the stretch, hitting .356 in September with all four of his home runs and 14 of his 23 RBI’s. The torrid finish allowed McNeil to put up numbers reminiscent of his first half 2019 performance, which was enough to earn him a trip to the All Star Game.
McNeil’s slow start keeps him from cracking the A-range but he did perform very well for the Mets once again, demonstrating his importance to the team going forward.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 100%
2021 Role: Starting Third Baseman or Left Fielder
McNeil is a lock to return in 2021 but where he will play depends on the Mets’ off-season moves. An ideal world would see the Mets land a true center fielder, allowing Brandon Nimmo to move over to left field and give McNeil another crack at third base with a full spring training to get ready for the transition. A big move at another position, like a trade for Francisco Lindor, could see McNeil return to the outfield depending on what assets the Mets use to complete the upgrade.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review series continues with a look at catcher Tomas Nido!