Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
While discussing the future of Jose Reyes on Tuesday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that if they replace the 35-year-old, the team would have to be comfortable with the player who would be stepping in.
"We have to have somebody that we want to replace him that meets that threshold," he said. "If we contemplate that kind of move, it will be appropriate in terms of timing as well."
Alderson has an option in Jeff McNeil, who was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. And the 26-year-old is the player who should replace Reyes.
After missing large chunks of the 2016 and 2017 seasons due to injury, McNeil hit .329/.405/.626 with 14 HR (second in the Eastern League) and 43 RBI in 57 games for Double-A Binghamton this season, while striking out just 23 times.
In the field, McNeil plays second base regularly, but has also played shortstop and third base this season (and in prior seasons). He also has experience in both corner outfield spots.
"McNeil has a good amount of athleticism to combine with an average to slightly above average arm, and solid movement on the field," Roberto Correa wrote last month for MetsMinors.net.
Whether or not you believe Reyes has been given the best opportunity to succeed with the Mets this season, the fact right now is that he doesn't offer even average production in any facet of the game. Perhaps McNeil can offer average production in multiple facets.
Maybe McNeil excels, maybe he doesn't. But with the way Reyes has been playing on both sides of the ball, it's time to see what McNeil can do.