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Getting To Know Jeff Mcneil

Jeff McNeil is representing this week the New York Mets in Cleveland at the All Star game. McNeil is batting .349, with 101 hits at the break. McNeil is on fire heading into his first All-Star Game appearance, slashing .443/.473/.729 over his last 17 games with four homers, three steals, 14 runs and 16 RBI, and the surge has moved him 15 points ahead of Cody Bellinger for the major-league lead in batting average. 

Name: Jeff McNeil

Born: April 8, 1992 in Santa Barbara, California

Nickname: Flying Squirrel

Drafted: by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.

2019 Salary: $567,714

How do you like playing in New York?

It’s awesome. When you win, it’s definitely the best place to play in all sports. The fans are incredible when they’re behind you. I love it so far.

What drives you?

I want to be the best. I always wanted to be the best since I was a little kid. I always wanted to prove people wrong.

You use a unique knobless bat, how did that come about?

My minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson give me a bat with no knob. I liked how it felt and have been using it ever since. It’s a balanced feeling. It’s not very top-heavy. A lot of bats have that big old barrel, small handle. Mine’s got like a real thick handle and kind of a medium-size barrel, so it makes it feel pretty light, and balanced.

Going into your second MLB season, do you plan on changing any part of your game?

I’m going to do the same thing I did last year. I’m not going to change anything. Just go out there and play hard.

Who is one pitcher in MLB history you would have loved to face?

Definitely Randy Johnson. Back in his prime, I don’t see anyone being harder to hit than him.

Do you have a favorite stadium?

Probably Dodger Stadium just because I grew up going there.

What was your favorite sport growing up?

Definitely golf. In high school I played golf, basketball and baseball. I really didn’t play baseball until my senior year. Golf was always my first love.

Favorite athlete in any sport?

Tiger Woods. I’ve played golf ever since I was 4 years old. I just remember basically every Sunday, I’d sit in front of the TV and watch him dominate every tournament he was in.

Are you having a better year than what you expected?

No, I mean, I always hit for high average. I expect to hit for high average. If I continue to swing at good pitches this year and keep hitting the ball hard, I expect to have a high average all year.

Are you excited about playing in this years All Star game?

Definitely. Its very exciting. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of the games best ball players.