Jeff McNeil Is Healthy And Ready To Play Third Base

Jeff McNeil means a lot to the Mets.

That’s probably the understatement of 2020, thus far. But you could argue that Jeff McNeil was the team’s MVP in 2019.

I wouldn’t argue with you if you said Jacob deGrom. I’m not looking to debate anyone who thinks Pete Alonso deserved the honor. But, you may be able to make the strongest case for Jeff McNeil.

Jeff McNeil played a different position every night last year, which includes a great deal of time in the outfield, something he had never done at the major league level.

McNeil led the entire team in defensive runs saved, and was the team leader in the stat in EVERY single position he played last year!

When Brandon Nimmo went down with his neck injury, McNeil took over in the leadoff spot, and didn’t miss a beat, fighting for the NL batting title for most of the year.

Arguably, the tallest task for McNeil lies ahead, but there’s no reason to believe he’s not up for the challenge.

There goes my hero.

Since David Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015, the Mets have had a need at the hot corner. Todd Frazier provided more stability than José Reyes and Eric Campbell, but more than 20 teams had better everyday 3rd basemen than the Mets in 2019.

The Mets, by choice or design, passed on Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon in recent off-seasons.

All things considered? I’m more than happy to pencil McNeil in at third everyday.

“I think I’ll be playing a lot of third,” McNeil said last week at the team’s first ever  FanFest.

McNeil is fully recovered from the wrist injury which ended his 2019 season. Furthermore, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be on a mission to top last year’s All-Star campaign.

You’d have to think that the only other everyday option at third base would be JD Davis. Given his defensive limitations, a corner outfield spot might make more sense for the Mets.

The outfield situation might get very interesting, depending on the health of Yoenis Cespedes, but we can rest easy knowing that third base is in GREAT hands.