Far lesser known than Pete Alonso one year ago, Jeff McNeil wasn’t even considered a prospect. He came from out of nowhere and has turned into what I believe is one of the better leadoff hitters in baseball. McNeil makes contact, gets on base, and starts off each game with a chance for an early run. He is someone we never could have imagined would have become a core member of this organization. Yet here we are.
McNeil is a unique player many will consider a throwback to older days. Though he lacks the curly mustache, he does other things reminiscent of the past. He doesn’t strike out much and seems to hustle as much as anyone other than maybe Brandon Nimmo. It’s this “dirtbag” style of play as he put it which makes him not only good but lovable, too.
Some have waited for McNeil to fall back to earth. However, since joining the Mets in July of 2018, he hasn’t. He continues to play the same consistent baseball. Whether batting near the top, bottom, or middle, you can expect McNeil to compile hits and start rallies.
Previously, it looked like Nimmo or Amed Rosario would become the typical leadoff hitter for this franchise. McNeil, though, with his amazing batting abilities has gotten his chance in 2019. I don’t think moving him out from number one works. He’s the best pure hitter on this team.
On a roster with some inconsistent offense, McNeil is a clichéd breath of fresh air. He breathes life into this team and should remain a core member of the lineup.