Second baseman Jeff McNeil off the New York Mets is coming off a season that can only be described as “One for the Ages.” McNeil led the National League in batting average, earned a Silver Slugger Award for his position, started at second base for the National League in the 2022 MLB All Star game, and led his team to a berth in the 2022 post season. He was rewarded him with a four year, $50 million contract extension.
McNeil is a fan favorite. His hustle and all around solid performance has earned him the nickname “The Flying Squirrel.” It is very hard to look at a player who may be about halfway through his career and try to project what he will accomplish over the next several years, so naturally that’s exactly what we are going to do.
As mentioned previously, Jeff McNeil is coming off a monster 2022 season. He has hit over .300 in four of his five seasons with New York with a career batting average of .307. He has excellent bat control with the ability to hit to all fields. McNeil has good speed on the bases and contributes a solid defense on the field. He has some pop in his bat but his real strength is delivering extra base hits in the power alleys. He is the pride of Nipomo, California, New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil.
Who are some of the New York Mets all time second basemen?
Where does Jeff McNeil fit into the long list of players who have manned the keystone position of second base for the New York Mets? The list is long with each player having something unique to add to the history of the franchise.
Some players had their best seasons before coming to the Mets, such as Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Robinson Cano just to name a few.
Other players had some of their best years after leaving the Mets. Jeff Kent, Gregg Jefferies, and Tim Foli come to mind.
There were some players who could field their position well but couldn’t provide enough offense like Doug Flynn, Kelvin Chapman, and Al Weis.
And there were a few players could hit a little but found fielding quite foreign to them like Luis Castillo, Tim Teufel, and Ty Wigginton.
So where does Jeff McNeil rank among the New York Mets all time best second basemen?
5. Ron Hunt. Hunt was the first home grown talent to gather any attention. He came in second in the 1963 Rookie of the Year voting behind Pete Rose. In 1964 he became the first Met to start in an All Star Game. Back when there wasn’t much to cheer about, we cheered for Ron Hunt.
4. Wally Backman. Backman was the engine that made the machine go. Hitting second between Dykstra and Hernandez, his teams won the Worlds Championship in 1986 and the National League East in 1988. Aways hustling. Uniform always dirty. Always giving 100%.
3. Daniel Murphy. Murphy was a solid performer during his seven years with the Mets . He hit .288 while averaging 15 HRs and 80 RBIs. Then 2015 happened. Murphy became the first person in MLB history to hit a home run in six consecutive post season games leading his team to the World Series.
2. Jeff McNeil. We have given McNeil all the accolades he so richly deserves. There is only one thing left for him to do for him to hold on to or improve his lofty position on this list: keep it up. I believe that he can. We’ll have to see if he does.
1. Edgardo Alfonzo. Alfonzo is fourth on the all-time list with 549 games at second base for the Mets. He won the 1999 Silver Slugger Award and was named to the All Star game in 2000, while leading both teams to the post season. Alfonzo hit .292 in his eight seasons with the Mets.
There you have it. This is where Jeff McNeil ranks on the list of the New York Mets all time best second basemen. Keep an eye on the Flying Squirrel this season and watch him soar.