General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said McNeil is "penciled in" as the Mets' starting second baseman in 2019, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. McNeil settled in as the Mets' starter at second base following the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera in July and slashed .329/.381/.471 with three homers and seven stolen bases across 63 games over the remainder of the season. The 26-year-old flashed impressive contact skills, striking out just 9.7 percent of the time in 2018.
McNeil went 4-for-5 with a walk, RBI and stolen base Sunday in the Mets' 8-6 win over the Nationals. As a 26-year-old who had logged only 18 games above the Double-A level prior to 2018, McNeil didn't have much cachet among prospect enthusiasts heading into the spring. The infielder opened some eyes, however, after delivering a .342/.411/.617 batting line between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, earning his first call to the big leagues in late July as a result. McNeil hasn't stopped hitting since joining the Mets, with Sunday's four-hit performance pushing his average up to .340 across his first 221 plate appearances in the majors. While a .369 BABIP has surely aided the average, McNeil's stellar contact skills -- he's struck out just 9.5 percent of the time -- have played an integral part in his success. In light of his stable playing time and hot bat, McNeil be worth keeping active in just about every format over the final week of the season.
McNeil will be on the bench Saturday against Washington. McNeil sits after making nine straight starts, a stretch in which he hit .289 with a .799 OPS. Jack Reinheimer will play second base in his absence.
McNeil went 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored in Saturday's loss to the Red Sox. McNeil singled and stole second base -- his fifth steal of the season -- in the fourth inning before Brandon Nimmo brought him and Todd Frazier home with a three-run homer. The rookie is now hitting an impressive .373/.396/.549 with one home run, seven RBI and two stolen bases over 14 games this month.
McNeil went 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored in Saturday's 10-5 win over the Phillies. It's his third straight contest with an extra-base hit, and McNeil has pushed his slash line with the Mets back up to .329/.389/.483 through 43 games. The 26-year-old rookie appears to be locking down a starting role at the keystone for 2019 with his impressive debut.