Mets' Jeff McNeil wins first career Silver Slugger Award

Jeff McNeil standing ovation NL batting title 10/5/22 cropped
Jeff McNeil standing ovation NL batting title 10/5/22 cropped

Major League Baseball announced the Silver Slugger award winners for the 2022 season on Tuesday night on MLB Network. For the Mets, second baseman Jeff McNeil was the lone recipient.

After a disappointing 2021 season, McNeil bounced back in a big way, cementing his status as one of the best pure hitters in baseball.

"Pretty exciting, feels good to have a bounce-back year. 2021 wasn't one of my best years, so to be able to come back this year and get back to who I am means a lot," McNeil said on MLB Network.

McNeil led the league with a .326 average, becoming the first Met since Jose Reyes in 2011 to win the NL batting title, and the first Met ever to win the Major League batting title. He also recorded a career-high 139 hits, 39 doubles, and a .839 OPS while striking out just 61 times across 148 games.

This is the first time in his five-year big league career that he’s taken home a Silver Slugger. McNeil beat out Jake Cronenworth, Ketel Marte, Brendan Rodgers, and Kolten Wong at second base for the award.

He did however lose to former-Met Brandon Drury at the utility spot. After receiving just a minor-league invite from the Mets in 2021, Drury had a breakout year at the plate in 2022. He recorded 31 doubles, 28 home runs, 87 RBI, and a .813 OPS in 138 games.

McNeil is now the first Met to win a Silver Slugger since Yoenis Cespedes back in 2016.

McNeil’s double-play partner, Francisco Lindor, made a strong case to take home his third-career Silver Slugger, but he lost out to Trea Turner. In his second season in New York, Lindor played in 161 games and posted 25 doubles, 26 home runs, and a .788 OPS.

Like Lindor, Pete Alonso enjoyed a tremendous offensive season but he also fell short of the award to the Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt. Alonso led the league with 131 RBI and finished third with 40 homers, whereas Goldy hit .317 with a .980 OPS, 41 doubles, and 35 home runs.

Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte were also finalists for the award, but Mookie Betts, Kyle Schwarber, and Juan Soto were the winners in the outfield.