5 Mets storylines to watch in the second half of the season

What to look forward to over the final months of the Mets' season
New York Mets v San Diego Padres
New York Mets v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages
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NY Mets storyline: Will the real Jeff McNeil emerge?

On a team littered with disappointing performances, perhaps none has been starker than that of Jeff McNeil. Last year’s batting champion enters the second half more than 70 points off his 2022 mark.

While that dip alone jumps off the page, it’s far from the only red flag. McNeil hasn’t been making solid contact in general, highlighted by a barrel percentage that ranks in the bottom five percent of the league. His power has also evaporated, with just three home runs and an expected slugging percentage that ranks bottom ten.

While his defensive versatility remains a plus, McNeil has also regressed in the field. His outs above average are neutral, a year after finishing at plus-8. He committed three errors in the first half after logging four all last season.

The numbers go on and on, but in short – McNeil has essentially reverted to where he was in 2021. His final numbers that season are eerily similar to where he is trending this year, begging the question: which version of Jeff McNeil have the Mets locked up long term?

At the time, McNeil’s career-low 2021 season was seen as an aberration, considering his track record until that point and reaffirmed by a bounce back 2022 campaign. If he continues struggling over the final few months this year, however, there will be real questions as to how consistent he can be going forward.