NY Mets Lineup: Three best options to hit lead off for the 2021 season
The 2019 Mets went 86-76 with Jeff McNeil leading off most of the games they played. In his 93 games in that role, McNeil slashed .320/.386/.521 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI. He was an all-star and led the league in batting for much of the year. This season, McNeil dealt with injuries and struggled at the top of the order. Once he was healthy, McNeil turned into McNeil and started raking. But from the bottom of the order.
I don’t think McNeil should be hitting 7th as he did at the end of last season, but I would like to see him right behind Nimmo as another table-setter in front of the power bats. In his first three major league seasons, McNeil has been the model of consistency. He’s never hit lower than .310 and his OBP has fluctuated between .381-.384. He gets a ton of hits and gets on base at a very high clip.
If Nimmo were to struggle or get hurt then McNeil would be my next choice to lead off games for the Mets in 2021. Unlike Nimmo, McNeil is known for being ultra-aggressive at the plate. He swings at the first pitch as much as anyone in the game and is successful at doing so more often than not. He hit three leadoff home runs in 2019 and all three of them were on the first pitch of the game. While Nimmo forces pitchers to pile up their pitch count early, McNeil forces pitchers to throw him their best stuff from the first pitch until the at-bat is over. If a mistake is made, it most likely will result in a hit at least.
McNeil is another very good option to hit at the top of the Mets order and if he hits leadoff on opening night I won’t be upset one bit. He’s just as good of a spark plug and catalyst as Nimmo is for a lineup that should be one of the best in baseball.