MMN 2018 Top Prospects 3-2: Peterson and Alonso On The Way

By Matt Mancuso

January 25, 2018 6 Comments

#3 1B Peter Alonso 

Ht: 6’3″  Wt: 245 lbs.  Age: 12/7/94 (23)  B/T: R/R

2017 Level: St.Lucie Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies Age Dif: -2.9

Stats: 93 G, 353 AB, 52 R, 102 H, 27 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 27 BB, .289/.359/.524

Dominic Smith may need to start looking over his shoulder; there’s another powerful first baseman rising up the ranks in the Mets minor league system. Alonso put on a show in St. Lucie and Binghamton in 2017, tapping into the raw power that scouts had been raving about.

That above-average power that Alonso showcased at the University of Florida convinced the Mets to make him their second-round pick in 2016. The hulking first baseman kicked off his pro career with the Brooklyn Cyclones, where hit .321/.382/.587. Although a broken pinky shortened his time with the Cyclones, he impressed the Mets brass with his high average and gaudy power numbers.

He was beset with injuries to start 2017 as well, breaking a bone in his hand in April following a hit-by-pitch, but quietly dominated in the second half for the St. Lucie Mets. He managed to have a .327/.407/.599 slash line in the final 57 games of the season.

Upon his well-deserved promotion to Binghamton, he was in the top-10 in the Florida State League in home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He did nothing but mash with the Rumble Ponies, hitting .331/.340/.578 in 45 at-bats.

Alonso altered his swing midway through the 2017 season in order to generate more power. He began to hit with more authority, which improved his overall statistics. This change gave him a higher ceiling as a middle-of-the-order bat who could hit for above-average power in the majors.

Although he showed passable defense in 2017, that is clearly the weak point of his game. He committed 19 errors as the primary first baseman for St. Lucie and Binghamton, a number that will need to improve in order to become a successful major-league first baseman.

Alonso will fit well in the homer-happy paradise that is Las Vegas, which may be his next minor-league stop if the Mets choose to be aggressive, although a full season in Binghamton seems more likely. The Mets have no greater offensive threat in their system than Alonso as he’ll continue his ascent atop the Mets minor league ranks in 2018.

#2 LHP David Peterson

Ht: 6’6  Wt: 240 lbs  Age: 9/3/1995 (22)  Bats/Throws L/L

2017 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones  Age Dif: -2.1

Stats: 3 G, 3 GS, 3.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 1.36 WHIP, 2.45 BB/9, 14.73 K/9, 62.5 GB%

Peterson leads the group of talented Mets southpaws. According to Keith Law’s prospect rankings, he’s the top prospect in an otherwise barren Mets system. He excelled during his senior year at the University of Oregon, validating his selection as the 20th pick in the 2017 draft.

Throughout his college career, Peterson emerged as one of the top collegiate starting pitchers. After pitching well in high school, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 28th round of the 2014 draft. However, he refused to sign due to his verbal commitment to the University of Oregon.

Coming into his senior year, Peterson was well-regarded within his own college, but had yet to make a name around the country. That changed after he worked with Oregon’s new pitching coach, Jason Dietrich.

Peterson dominated in 2017, which was highlighted by his 20 strikeout performance against 29th-ranked Arizona State. Peterson finished top-10 in the PAC-12 in ERA, innings, strikeouts, and most importantly walks. In his previous seasons, Peterson had trouble limiting walks, which worried scouts. However, he quieted those concerns, only permitting a measly 15 free passes in 2017.

Since he has a sizable frame, Peterson has potential to add more velocity to his pitches. The 22-year-old uses his long limbs to generate the velocity of his fastball, which is thrown in the low-90s. He uses his changeup and slider well, the latter of which is considered his best pitch. Peterson also throws a curveball, however, it’s a pitch that he will need to refine to have success with it. Peterson throws from a low 3/4 arm slot, which could affect his durability in the future. Scouts have compared him to Mark Buehrle, a crafty lefty who made a successful career of throwing to his spots.

On draft night, Peterson was projected to be picked late in the first round due to his breakout season. But the Mets happily snatched him up in the middle of the first round and signed him to an under-slot deal worth 2.99 million dollars. Due to his excessive college usage and a minor foot injury suffered upon arrival in Brooklyn he briefly appeared for the Cyclones in 2017 but looks forward to a full season in 2018.

Previous Rankings

50-41 Led by Jacob Rhame

40-36 Led by Wagner Lagrange

35-31 Led by Gregory Guerrero

30-26 Led by Juan Uriarte

25-21 Led by Adonis Uceta

20-18 Led by Jordan Humphreys

17-15 Led by Marcos Molina

14-12 Led by Corey Oswalt

11-9 Led by Ronny Mauricio

8-6 Led by Justin Dunn

5-4 Led by Mark Vientos

 

  • Man I really hope Peterson lives up to all the hype has been getting…….

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  • Jason Mercado

    Yeah seeing Chris Sale comparisons if he gets his velocity up and already has the location. Lets see what he does this year though.

  • Jason Mercado

    I predict Alonso ends year with AAA and soon will make Mets brass think about what to do with him by spring training 2019.

  • Nessim Toledano

    AAA in 2018 seems very plausible, even likely. But after that, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Dom Smith was regarded and ranked much more highly than Alonso, and look what happened in his first call up. Look how long Wilmer flores took to get acclimated and stick in the majors. There is a big learning curve between AAA and the majors. Plus, this organization is typically conservative with its good prospects has no incentive to rush him.
    First, his defense is too far off. Second, Dominic Smith is still on the roster ahead of him, with Flores for support or platoon duty if needed. Third, he’s not eligible for Rule 5 until after 2019. Adding him at the start of 2019 just gives away a year of control. And if he doesn’t stick on that first run at the majors and needs to be optioned down in 2019, they’d be spending one of his options a year early and shortening the time available for his learning curve.
    Hitting alone isn’t what makes for major leaguers. Its the ability to work through slumps and make the adjustments quickly when the league figures him out and slows or shuts him down. We haven’t seen that yet, so we still don’t know how quickly he adjusts. But it will happen somewhere along the way. Thats when we learn what kind of prospect he really is.