In his brief professional career, he has slugged to the tune of a .297/.364/.539 batting line with 23 homers in just 123 games played. If you have had the benefit of seeing him hit, it just seems like he goes out there and tries to destroy the baseball.
That’s a sentiment one of his collegiate coaches share. Speaking about Alonso’s approach at the plate, Florida assistant coach Braz Weitzel told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, “He just tried to disintegrate balls. That’s all he tried to do. But there was no real contact skills, working on going the other way, becoming a hitter. For me, you’ve got to learn how to hit before power means anything.”
As DiComo would note in his article regarding Alonso’s power, his approach was well crafted before he even reached college. In fact, Alonso has been working with a private swing coach since he was eight-years-old. The end result of his working hard at his craft since he has been eight is he demolishes the baseball. It is not only something you see, it is something that is supported by Statcast.
Last season, Alonso had a 93.5 mph average exit velocity, which was the higher than anyone on the Mets Major League roster. The only three major leaguers with a higher exit velocity in 2017 were Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Nelson Cruz. Alonso edged out Miguel Sano (93.4 mph) Giancarlo Stanton (92.6 mph). This is all the more remarkable when you consider Alonso dealt with a broken hand early in the season.
Even with Alonso showing a skill better than the reigning National League MVP, he knows there are still areas of his hitting which needs improvement. Each step of the way, he was worked on increasing his walks and decreasing his strikeouts.
In college, the efforts bore fruit with him increasing his walk rate to 12%. As a professional, he has not gotten to that point yet with him walking in just 6.9% of his plate appearances last season.
Seeing how he has previously made significant strides in this area, we should expect him to make similar improvement this year in Binghamton. Certainly, Weitzel agrees saying, “He wants to get better. He wants to be an item. Every day he goes to the field, sweat is just pouring off him.”
With this type of dedication, we can very well see Alonso make significant strides in increasing his walk rate and decreasing his strike out rate this season. If so, he will become an even better hitter and prospect than we already believe him to be. More than that, we may well see him begin to make a case to be in the Majors in the near future.