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Mets' Jeff McNeil is forcing himself into All-Star conversation



PHILADELPHIA – The Mets are sticking to their plan of giving Jeff McNeil to spend the rest of the year.

But they would not mind having to play extra game during their only

McNeil has not stopped hitting – he has 10 more multi-hit games than no-hit games this year – and in the meantime, has worked his way into serious All-Star conversation for July's Midsummer Classic in Cleveland.

"It would mean a lot to me," McNeil said Wednesday before the Mets continued her series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. "It would be a dream come true. Definitely a goal of mine to make the all-star team. Tremendous first helped, it's pretty exciting. "

McNeil, who hit a solo homer in the fifth inning of Wednesday's game against the Phillies, entered the day with the majors second-best batting average (.348), trailing only Cody Bellinger (.353), and fifth-best on-base percentage (.41

0), a category led by Mike Trout (.463). He was listed as an outfielder in the All-Star fan-voting – maybe too versatile for his own good, for once – and missed the cut to be a finalist for the starters' vote.

McNeil's path to the NL All-Star team now goes through the players' ballot and commissioner's office, who combine to select the reserves.

"Really, the biggest thing that's hurting him is classified as an outfielder and he's in the category with all those guys having crazy numbers," said Michael Conforto, who was named at All- Star by the players in 2017. "If he was in the second baseman's category, he'd be in there no doubt. It's interesting. I hope he does make it. I think he's got a good shot.

Jeff McNeil Jeff McNeil EPA

While McNeil had done nothing but.

Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom are also candidates to be the Mets' representative hit his entire way the minor leagues, that he has done more. His 4-for-5 effort Tuesday marked his 29th multi-hit game. The longest he has gone without a hit two games, and he did that this season, he bounced back in the next game with a multi-hit effort.

"You see guys come up all the time that pitchers they have a tough time getting them out, but they always adapt to the league and their game, "Conforto said.

McNeil's 130th game in the majors. While he was the Mets' Opening Day third baseman this year batting sixth, he has since become a staple in the leadoff spot as pitchers have struggled to expose his weaknesses.

"I was talking to Jay [Bruce] about him and he McNeil [hype]'Conforto said. "The guys in the minor leagues used to call him Ted Williams. Nobody could get him out. "

McNeil when he's not in the lineup.

Mickey Callaway said McNeil's name in the lineup, but believes it's necessary every so often to ensure he remains healthy. McNeil agreed that it would be helpful and he could feel more explosive when he returned to the lineup.

"We're doing a lot of preaching and a lot of conversations with Jeff to make sure he puts himself in a spot where he can play him as many days as many games as he possibly can throughout the season," Callaway said. If it's an unpopular one. "


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