3 ways Jeff McNeil can earn back our full trust in 2022

Mar 31, 2022; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil (1) hits a
Mar 31, 2022; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil (1) hits a / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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How much faith does the average New York Mets fan have in Jeff McNeil? The Swiss Army Man of Queens is entering a 2022 campaign coming off of a ridiculously bad year at the plate.

It’s something we hadn’t seen from him before. Since debuting in mid-2018, McNeil has been a .300 hitter each year. While playing all over the field, we could count on McNeil to put the ball in play consistently and watch it go for a hit.

This year, McNeil has some work to do. He survived his spot on the offseason trade block and will now look to re-establish his credibility with the orange and blue. He can do it. It starts with accomplishing these three goals.

Jeff McNeil can have Mets fans back on his side if he simply starts hitting again

With some hitters you can dive deep into the analytics to tell whether or not they’re performing well. Take Brandon Nimmo as an example. His batting average can be low but if we see he is getting on base we know he is doing his job well.

In McNeil’s case, the predominant offensive statistic many will pay attention to is his batting average. It’s what he does well. He isn’t a walk machine nor is he a power-hitter—as much as he tried to fool us in 2019. McNeil is the kind of guy that should work to slap singles, rip line drives, and occasionally pop a home run. Batting averages may not matter to some people. To McNeil, it does and should.

We didn’t see much from him in this department last season. He finished the season batting only .251. After three straight years of hitting between .311-.329, it was a tremendously unexpected drop-off.

A return to his old form with a more credible batting average is the easiest way for McNeil to regain trust. He doesn’t have to do much else other than be that contender for a batting title. Anything less and his other flaws may begin to show.