Jeff McNeil seems to always start the season on a high note hitting .323 with a .413 on-base average in March and April in his career. So far, this season has not been similar by any stretch. McNeil is hitting on the interstate to start the season with a .167 batting average.
The silver lining with McNeil’s slow start is that he is hitting the ball very hard. This season McNeil is making 37% hard contact increasing from his 26.5% hard-hit rate from 2020 per Statcast.
Additionally, McNeil is swinging at more pitches in the strike zone at 86.5% and making more contact with pitches in the strike zone at 88.1% than he did in 2020. McNeil is also Barreling more balls in 2021 than 2020 with 7.5% vs 2.5%.
All of this data shows that McNeil is getting very unlucky right now and once the balls he is putting in play start to find grass he will start looking like his old self.
McNeil is a career .300 hitter and he also holds himself to a very high standard as seen by him yelling at himself when he makes an out. So if nothing else he is determined to fix the flaws in his swing causing him to start 2021 slow.
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Similar to Conforto and Lindor, McNeil’s closing stat line for 2021 will most likely fall in line with what he has produced the previous three seasons he has been in the Major Leagues.