McNeil’s rookie campaign has been unique in many ways. In just 58 games he’s accumulated 2.3 WAR as a 2018 unconventional–meaning he mostly rips singles.
That’s not entirely the case, however. McNeil’s 162-game average right now is 8 homers, 28 doubles, and a whopping–though, imaginary–17 triples.
A late rookie bloom is not unheard of in this league, but McNeil’s current line matches up with only a few fellow freshmen since 1961. Players with a rookie season of under 75 games, 130-plus PAs, .380 OBP, 135 OPS+, and under 40 strikeouts since 1961:
Kal Daniels, 1986
Bret Barberie, 1991
Warren Newsom, 1991
Carlos Santana, 2010
Yasmani Grandal, 2012
Yes, this group is less decorated than Nimmo’s, but McNeil stands high in this group in multiple areas. His K% is the lowest, his average is the second highest, and he has far more hits (69 in 226 PAs).
By all means, McNeil should be the Mets youngster (youngster here is a bit erroneous, he is 26) we worry about the least; he’s proven to be a capable Major League hitter and a good defender at a position of need, but the Mets front office could get in the way.
Can you say Daniel Murphy lifetime contract?
Kidding. McNeil is a stud and a potential mainstay in the New York lineup for the next half-decade.