New York Mets team brass — COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, and manager Mickey Callaway — appeared on Mike Francesa’s afternoon show on WFAN on Wednesday and hinted at Jeff McNeil‘s role in 2019.
Both Van Wagenen and Callaway mentioned that they’d like to give the 26-year-old some time in the outfield this year in addition to second and third base, presumably giving McNeil a sort of super-utility designation.
McNeil had an outstanding rookie campaign in 2018 after being called up on July 24 to replace Asdrubal Cabrera, who was traded to Philadelphia. The Californian slashed .329/.381/.471 with a .368 weighted on-base average, 137 weighted runs created plus rating, 2.7 wins above replacement (Fangraphs), and a measly 9.7 strikeout percentage in 248 plate appearances.
He played 54 games at second and appeared in four games at third (one start) for the Mets last season, but McNeil has had limited experience playing outfield in the minor leagues (56.1 innings).
With the addition of Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil’s penciled-in name at second base has obviously been erased, but his skills on both sides of the chalk are simply too extensive to let sit, wasting away on the bench.