09 Mar GETTING TO KNOW NEW YORK METS INFIELDER JEFF MCNEIL
Name: Jeff McNeil
Born: April 8, 1992 in Santa Barbara, California
Drafted: By the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.
2021 Salary: $575,000
2021 Position: Probably Second Base
Jeff McNeil will be entering his fourth season as a New York Met. Last year, McNeil was hitting just .253/.326/.304 on Aug. 28 last season. But he turned it on over the last month of the campaign to up his triple slash to a much more McNeil-like .311/.383/.454. Though Mc- Neil performed extremely well over the last month, a late slump brought his numbers down from a season-high of .326/.399/.508, which he was hitting entering play on Sept. 12.
How excited are you about going into this season?
It’s been a pretty crazy off season, with all the moves & acquisitions, but I think they did an extremely good job at building this team with bringing in a few new guys in & I’m looking forward to having a really big year & I’m happy with the way the team is looking right now.
What did you think about your season last year?
The first couple of weeks of the season, I didn’t play too well. I think I’m gonna try to be more consistent. I hate those ups and downs, hitting .400 one week and hitting .200 the next week. That’s just tough for me. It all comes out to .300, but I’d rather be .300 all year and just be consistent. I would like to focus on limiting the slumps to just a few days instead of a week here, a week there. Try to limit those. But other than that, I’m just gonna go up there, try to hit the ball hard. Not really trying to hit for power or anything. I had a great offseason, so I am pretty strong and feel good. I know if I’m hitting the ball well, home runs and the power numbers will be there.
What do you think about the Mets lineup this year?
This lineup from top to bottom is pretty incredible. There’s so much protection in it, too, so you gotta go after the guy at the plate because the guy behind him can do just as much damage. Really looking forward to it. We had a pretty good offense last year as well and it only got better.
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.
Do you prefer playing a specific position?
Whatever the team wants me to play, I’m good with. This year they want me to play third base, so I’m fine being there. If they want to change that in the middle of the season, I’m fine with that.
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 of high school. 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.