Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mets Send Alonso, deGrom, McNeil To All-Star Game

Pete Alonso at the plate and Jeff McNeil at second base in the first inning Sunday night. Photo by Jason Schott.

On Sunday evening, three Mets were selected to the National League All-Star team, first baseman Pete Alonso, pitcher Jacob deGrom, winner of the 2018 NL Cy Young Award; and infielder/outfielder Jeff McNeil.

The last time the Mets had three or more All-Stars was in 2016 when the club had four - Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colón, Jeurys Familia and Yoenis Céspedes - and Terry Collins was the manager of the National League squad that year since the Mets won the pennant the year before.

"It's a great honor," Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said in his pregame press conference on Sunday afternoon. "All three of those guys are more than deserving of this, and when I think about an All-Star, I think about more than just their performance and the numbers. These guys do things the right way. They come to work every single day, they have passion, they play as hard as they possibly can, and it pays off with a special award - a special individual award - for each of them, so we're proud of them. We're proud that we have three as a Mets organization. We'll be keeping an eye on them while the festivities go on."

Alonso, 24, is the first Mets rookie position player and the fourth rookie to be named to an All-Star team in team history, joining Tom Seaver (1967), Jerry Koosman (1968) and Dwight Gooden (1984).

Entering Sunday, Alonso ranks second in the majors with 28 homers, second with 48 extra-base hits, fourth in slugging (.629) and tied for seventh with 62 RBI. He has already set the Mets rookie single-season home run record and owns the NL rookie record for the most homers prior to the All-Star break. Only three rookies in major league history have hit more home runs prior to the All-Star break.
Alonso will be participating in the Home Run Derby on Monday, June 8.

DeGrom, 31, was named to his third All-Star team. He was also an All-Star in 2015 and 2018. He is the fourth pitcher in franchise history to be named to the All-Star team three or more times, joining Seaver, Gooden and Jon Matlack.

The 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner is second in the NL with 128 strikeouts and is eighth with a 1.11 WHIP this season. He has allowed three runs or less in 14 of his 17 starts this season. The right-hander had a career-high 14 strikeouts and tied Bob Gibson with his 26th consecutive quality start on April 3 at Miami.

DeGrom became the first pitcher in All-Star Game history to strike out three batters (Stephen Vogt, Jason Kipnis, José Iglesias) in an inning with 10 pitches or fewer in Cincinnati in 2015.

McNeil, 27, is second in the majors with a .344 batting average, fifth with a .409 OBP and tied for sixth with 23 doubles this year. McNeil is tied for fifth in the majors with 31 multi-hit games. He is batting over .300 in the following situations: at home (.310), on the road (.369, leads majors), vs. left-handers (.367, sixth in majors), vs. right-handers (.337), in day games (.329), in night games (.349), with no runners on (.331), with runners on (.365) and with runners in scoring position (.400, fourth in majors).

McNeil had 162 hits over his first 475 career at-bats, the most by any active player and the most since Wade Boggs had 166 hits in his first 475 at-bats (1982-1983).

Callaway said of the year McNeil has spent with the team, "A lot of people in our organization thought this guy could hit like this. He's had injuries in his past, which makes what he's done the last 12 months even more stunning. He's had significant injuries that have kept him from playing and being the player he could be in the past. So, to see it happen this quick - with the amount of success he's had and just being up there with the elite as far as getting on base and batting average and things like that - is tremendous.

"It's fun to watch every single day. The guy has so much passion for the game. I'm sure you guys can tell, when he makes an out, he's not happy about it, so I think it keeps him motivated and it keeps everybody interested to see what's going to happen next when he's at the plate.

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