Jeff McNeil’s stellar first full major league season came to an abrupt end in the Mets’ 10-3 victory over the Marlins. The All-Star utility man was hit by a pitch by the Marlins’ Josh Smith in the bottom of he sixth inning. McNeil’s 21st hit-by-pitch of the season proved fateful, as it struck him in the right arm, breaking a bone in his wrist.
A man without a position at the beginning of the season, McNeil played his way onto the National League All-Star team with an excellent 2019 season. He finishes the campaign with a .317/.384/.530 line, good for a 143 OPS+. The versatile McNeil spent time at second and third base as well as left and right field, hitting 23 home runs and 38 doubles while driving in 75 runs despite often batting out of the leadoff spot.
McNeil threatened for a batting title early in the season, but while his average dipped in the second half, his power output increased dramatically. His season was good for an impressive 4.9 bWAR, and he can be found among the league leaders in many categories. The Mets will be counting on a healthy McNeil in the 2020 season, as his versatility gives the team numerous options as they approach their offseason plans.