New York Mets News

NY Mets: Three Jeff McNeil predictions for the 2021 season

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets smiles after hitting a 2-run home run to left field in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field on September 09, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets smiles after hitting a 2-run home run to left field in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field on September 09, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next
Mets
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 30: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets in action against the Boston Red Sox at Citi Field on July 30, 2020 in New York City. Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Mets 4-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

When Jeff McNeil burst onto the scene midway through the 2018 season, New York Mets fans soon realized they had found a star at the keystone position. Since then, he’s established himself as one of the team’s most consistent hitters, a versatile fielder, and even earned a fun nickname as the “Flying Squirrel” for his hard nose fielding across the diamond.

Although his power at the plate dipped in 2020, with McNeil hitting just 4 long balls in 183 at-bats, he remained a consistent hitter in the lineup; slashing .311/.383/.454 during the truncated season – his third sporting the orange and blue.

But what more does the Flying Squirrel have left in his treehouse and what should Mets fans expect from the 29-year-old in 2021? As one of the team’s premium athletes, here are my boldest predictions for him this season.

The Mets second baseman will record his fourth consecutive season with a BA over .300

Taken out of Long Beach State, the Mets selected Jeff McNeil in the 12th round (356th overall) of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. And after making his debut on July 24, 2018 against the San Diego Padres, fans might wonder (in retrospect) how he remained available for so long.

Through 3 MLB seasons, McNeil has recorded a career .319 BA, with 30 HRs and 117 RBIs; and with a full season that will see the 2019 NL All-Star as the Mets everyday second baseman, he will certainly have the opportunity to showcase his consistency at the plate and possibly get close to matching his all-time totals.

In 2018, McNeil maintained a .329 BA through 63 games, and followed up that performance the following season (his only full season in his young career thus far) by hitting for a career-high .318 BA through 510 qualifying at-bats.

Now, following his third consecutive season with a BA above .310, and with a new season and the best Mets team McNeil has been a part of since his call-up, there is no reason to think his offensive production will not continue into 2021.

Overall, fans should rest easy, sure in the knowledge that McNeil’s elite bat will once again be active in an upgraded lineup as he enters his fourth consecutive season among other notable hitting achievements.

facebooktwitterreddit