McNeil Continues to Prove How Valuable He Is – metsmerizedonline.com

It’s been a turbulent year for Mets’ infielder/outfielder Jeff McNeil.
During the latter part of the 2018 season, the team was skeptical to call him up to the majors because they viewed him exclusively as a second baseman.
After he was ultimately called up and did nothing but hit, the team kicked around the idea of sending him to the Seattle Mariners as part of the Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano deal.
But, when everything was all said and done, he remained a Met and it has paid great dividends.
In 38 games in 2019, McNeil has hit to a .360/.440/.496 clip with a .937 OPS, 160 wRC+, .403 wOBA, a low 10.1 K%, and has been worth 1.5 fWAR.
According to FanGraphs, he ranks fourth in K%, 12th in wRC+, 14th in wOBA and 20th in WAR. He is also batting .407 (11-for-27) with a 1.019 OPS vs. left-handers, the third-best average in the majors this season (highest average by any left-handed batter vs. LHP).
From the lead off spot for New York, McNeil has also thrived tremendously.  He has hit .357 (30-for-84) in 20 games as the team’s leadoff hitter this season. He has also reached base in his lead off plate appearance in 10 of those 20 games. Additionally, he owns a .522 average (12-for-23) and a .560 OBP in the first inning overall this year, both third-best in the majors.
In the field, the 27-year-old has been passable. He has one defensive run saved and a -1.1 UZR in left field, where he has gotten a lot of reps so far in 2019 (193.2 innings). At second and third base where he has combined to play 111 innings, he has three combined DRS.
With several Mets struggling offensively, including key offseason additions Wilson Ramos and Cano, as well as incumbents trying to figure it out such as Brandon Nimmo, McNeil’s presence has been welcomed, if not necessary.
McNeil, along with homegrown Mets Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto have anchored the team’s offense so far this year and the team has managed to stay within striking distance of first place.
Now, they have to hope that their success rubs off on the rest of the team.
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