Throughout Mets history, they have rarely had a slugging first baseman. There have been far more seasons of players like Keith Hernandez and John Olerud than there have been “big bats” like Carlos Delgado and Lucas Duda. Certainly, under the Sandy Alderson regime the Mets have trended towards the latter.
That was evident when the Mets made Peter Alonso their second round pick in the 2016 draft.
Alonso, 22, was primarily drafted because of his power potential. That was on full display during his limited time in Brooklyn. In 11 games, he hit .321/.382/.587 before a season ending injury. Based on what he showed in that limited sample, the Mets had Alonso skip Low-A Columbia, instead starting the season off in St. Lucie.
Initially, Alonso struggled and subsequently landed on the disabled list with a broken hand. When he came back, he crushed the baseball. From May 26 until Aug. 22 when he was called up to Binghamton, Alonso hit .293/.370/.530 with 23 doubles, 15 homers, and 56 RBI. In total, he went on to hit 16 homers with 58 RBI at St. Lucie.
It was in July where Alonso really shined. During that month, the first baseman hit .336/.394/.603 with seven doubles, eight homers, and 26 RBI. He was twice named the Florida State League Player of the Week and was also named their Player of the Month.
With all of the accolades and his success in July, most people missed just how good Alonso was in the month of August. When the calendar changed, Alonso hit .312/.395/.569 with 11 doubles, one triple, five homers and 16 RBI.
By the time he was called up to Double-A Binghamton, Alonso was tied for the league lead in homers despite having only played 82 games. It was more than the homers. He was also top 10 in a number of other power categories: doubles (10th), RBI (seventh), slugging (second), and OPS (second). With numbers like these, it’s no surprise he was named as a post-season All-Star.
It’s even less of a surprise Alonso was undaunted playing for a Rumble Ponies team making a push for the postseason. In 11 games, Alonso hit .311/.340/.578 with four doubles, one triple and two homers with five RBI. That type of production propelled the Rumble Ponies into the postseason.
While Bingo lost their postseason series to the Trenton Thunder, in the four game series, Alonso was 6-for-14 with three runs, two double, two walks, and four RBI.
Now, there are some areas where Alonso needs improvement. He has had injury issues not just in the minors but also in college. Additionally, he needs to work on his defense, posting the most amount of errors (18) among Florida State League first basemen and playing well below average defense most of the season.
Despite those issues, it doesn’t overshadow just how great he was this season. Overall, Alonso showed he’s a clutch hitter and that’s why he was our MMO/MNN Player of the Year.
Honorable Mention: In addition to Alonso, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario were given due consideration for their impressive seasons which led to their promotion to the majors. Other under consideration were Juan Uriarte, Rigoberto Terrazas, Luis Santana and Wagner Lagrange who all had breakout seasons this year.
Our starting pitcher of the year was Corey Oswalt.