Mets got the perfect year they could ask for from Jeff McNeil

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages

A .326 batting average to lead the National League was only one part of what made Jeff McNeil’s 2022 season a perfect one. Only the second player in New York Mets history to actually win a batting title, it’s the headlining achievement from this past season.

McNeil happened to do a lot of other things pretty well, too. Even if none of the slash lines actually set new personal-highs, we saw as solid of production out of him as we could ever ask.

Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil had a perfect season for what we need him to be

McNeil didn’t set any new highs on his slash line numbers—as long as we include his shortened rookie year back in 2018 where he had 248 plate appearances. If you want to exclude it, then the batting average is his best. But as a rookie in 2018, he did manage to hit .329. Whatever standard you want to set is okay. What’s important is we all acknowledge this is the McNeil performance that’s most sustainable.

Two notable places where McNeil did set new bests are with hits (174) and doubles (39). We saw him go on a power frenzy back in 2019 when everyone else did, too. McNeil swatted 38 doubles and hit 23 of his career 46 home runs. You may recall that during his power surge period in 2019, he was also hitting less consistently with contact.

McNeil thrives when hitting for contact. The 2019 campaign was his most powerful but also included 75 strikeouts—the most he has accumulated. In the big leagues. It’s not an awful amount. It just doesn’t seem to fit him.

Maybe most notable yet hardest to quantify is his 0.8 WAR on defense while playing more than second base. McNeil saw plenty of action in left field where he posted positive numbers with the glove. He continues to be an asset for the Mets as more than an everyday player who doesn’t move off of his primary spot.

What more could have possibly been asked of from him?

Good defense, constant contact, and a batting title is all we’ve ever wanted. He delivered. Where’s that car Francisco Lindor promised him?

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