In a year in which many Mets prospects have had breakout seasons, MLB Pipeline selected Peter Alonso as the Mets Hitting Prospect of the Year and David Peterson as the Mets Pitching Prospect of the Year. The criteria for being selected for either award was the prospect being both among the team’s top 30 prospects as determined by MLB Pipeline and having spent at least half the season in the minors.
After being the first ever Mets prospect to lead the minors in homers, Alonso was named as the hitting prospect. MLB Pipeline’s second best Mets prospect would hit .285/.395/.579 with 31 doubles, a triple, 36 homers, and 119 RBI in his 132 games split between Binghamton and Las Vegas.
Given his level of production and the Mets not being contenders in the second half of the season, there were calls for Alonso to be promoted to the Major Leagues. That did not happen leaving many Mets fans disappointed. While you would expect Alonso to be disappointed as well, he has elected to take the high road and instead focusing on improving as a ballplayer saying:
I just need to keep working, and getting better. Every kid grows up in the back yard playing baseball with their dad, dreaming of being out there, playing on that field. It’s going to be a special moment. You get to a point where I’m lucky to be playing. I know it’s going to happen. I just have to continue to get better, and keep proving I can do it every single day.
Certainly, while Alonso did merit the award, it could be argued second baseman Jeff McNeil was more deserving of the award. In his time between Binghamton and Las Vegas, McNeil would outslug Alonso, and he would have a higher OPS than Alonso. Moreover, McNeil would get called up to the majors and establish himself as an everyday player posting a 2.4 WAR in 63 games.
Both pitchers would spend time with St. Lucie during the season. For his part, Dunn would make nine starts going 2-3 with a 2.36 ERA, 1.270 WHIP, and a 10.1 K/9 before being promoted to Binghamton. Peterson would finish the 2018 season with St. Lucie after pitching well with Columbia. In Peterson’s 13 starts for St. Lucie he was 6-6 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.354 WHIP, and a 7.6 K/9.
Peterson would make 22 starts between Columbia and St. Lucie. He would finish the year 7-10 with a 3.87 ERA, 1.172 WHIP, and an 8.1 K/9. For his part, Dunn made 24 starts going 8-8 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.330 WHIP, and a 10.4 K/9.
Another reason why the decision was curious was Dunn leapfrogging Peterson in their own rankings over the course of the season. However, no matter how they were ranked, Peterson did have a good season where he made significant strides towards towards his goal of being a Major League pitcher. It is a goal Peterson is working towards:
You want to move as fast as possible. Everyone’s dream is to play here. But the only thing you can do is go out there every day, and play as hard as you can. The only thing I can control on a daily basis is what work I put in, how hard I work and the focus I put on my craft.
Overall, Alonso and Peterson had good seasons meriting recognition. The fact the Mets had other prospects who also merited recognition only serves to highlight just how well the Mets prospects performed this season and just how much the Mets farm system had improved in 2018.