Second baseman Jeff McNeil
During the off-season, the Mets found out that they would be without second baseman Robinson Cano for the 2021 season due to suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Luckily, the Mets had a plan. Super utility man Jeff McNeil would slide right into the second baseman role, after bouncing all over the diamond to start his career.
McNeil has been a fan favorite and one of the Mets top players from the moment he was called up to the majors during the 2018 season. His ability to get hits has always come in handy, as he has been above a .315 batting average for his career. Plus, he already has an All-Star appearance to his name from the 2019 season.
In other words, Jeff McNeil is one of the Amazins’ everyday stars who must be in the lineup at all costs. Yet, the 29-year-old has been uncharacteristically struggling at the plate to start the year.
In eight games, McNeil has seen 27 plate appearances. In those 27 appearances, he has only mustered four total hits, including one home run. McNeil has also walked three times, keeping his on-base percentage at .296 regardless of his .174 batting average.
Given how consistent of a hitter McNeil has always been, his struggles come as a surprise. Not only can he play multiple positions, but McNeil has always been a moveable piece in the lineup who can provide a spark from any hole he hits from.
For McNeil, his track record should keep fans calm for the time being. But at the end of the day, the Mets need McNeil to be that sparkplug in the lineup sooner than later.