Pete Alonso Finally Gives The Mets Some Hope
Based on his rookie season, the sky's the limit for the young first baseman
Pete Alonso is the new rookie HR kingðŸ’¥— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 29, 2019
ðŸ”¹ Did not get drafted when he finished HS in 2013
ðŸ”¸ 64th pick in 2016 by Mets
ðŸ”¹ Rookie record for most RBI before All-Star break
ðŸ”¸ 2019 HR Derby Champion
ðŸ”¹ 53 HRs and counting
No ceiling on his potential pic.twitter.com/WUzGyV8oM7
Alonsoâ€™s Tremendous Rookie Campaign
After being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft, Pete Alonso cruised through minor league pitching and made a massive impact on the New York Mets this season. The 24-year-old rookie out of the University of Florida brought new life to the organization, which was something that they have been lacking since their David Wright days.
Alonso posted a triple slash line of .260/.359/.586 in his rookie season, which amounted to a .945 OPS. These are very solid numbers for a player that made an appearance in 161 of 162 contests this season. Alonso tallied 30 doubles and swatted 53 long-balls this season, topping Aaron Judgeâ€™s rookie home run record by just one. He also scored 102 times and drove in 120, proving to be one of the most valuable players this season. If Alonsoâ€™s rookie season has any foreshadowing on his career potential, then Mets fans are in for a splendid ride with him moving forward.
Looking Beyond The Basics
Some of the everyday stats that we read are telling in their own way, but looking at advanced stats can really give a deeper look into how dominant an individualâ€™s season really was. Alonsoâ€™s advanced stats follow this trend with some eye-popping numbers and lines.
Alonso made hard contact regularly during his rookie season, accumulating a 42.3 percent hard hit rate and massive .326 ISO. His .386 wOBA tops his real OBP. His 41.3 percent fly ball rate helped induce many of his round-trippers, showing off his raw power. 40.8 percent of his batted balls had an exit velocity above 95 miles per hour, a truly inspiring line. The right-handed slugger was one of the only feared bats in New Yorkâ€™s lineup, and he should continue to torment the NL East for years to come.
The Rookie Home Run Record
Two of the highest outputs for rookies in the home run department came in 2017. Judge and Cody Bellinger posted seasons that ranks them second and fourth, respectively, on the all-time rookie homer list (now that Alonso has topped the list). Letâ€™s take a look at how their seasons compared to Alonsoâ€™s stellar 2019.
When Judge tallied 52 bombs for the Yankees as a rookie in 2017, driving in 114 and posting a 1.049 OPS. His .343 ISO was masterful that season and so was his 45.3 percent hard hit rate. Judgeâ€™s 30.7 percent strikeout rate was much more hefty than Alonsoâ€™s 26.3 percent rate. Judge also had a much better supporting cast around him, along with a more expensive offense, which provided him a great deal of protection.Â
Also in 2017, Bellinger bursted onto the scene and mashed 39 homers over just 132 games. He drove in 97 and posted a 43.0 percent hard hit rate. Bellingerâ€™s .315 ISO canâ€™t touch Judge or Alonsoâ€™s rookie outputs, but this just goes to show how tremendous Alonsoâ€™s season really was.
Contrasting Alonsoâ€™s lines against two of the gameâ€™s top hittersâ€™ rookie campaigns shows how dominant he really was. Mets fans should be salivating at what Alonso could bring them moving forward. Judge and Bellinger are now household names and are thriving by pushing their clubs into the postseason spotlight. Signs point to Alonso having a terrific career.
Don't overlook how rare it is for a player -- any player, not just a rookie -- to hit 53 home runs. Only nine men have done it in National League history:— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 29, 2019
New Yorkâ€™s 2020 Outlook
With a team payroll that sat just over $157 million in 2019, the Mets will have to figure things out for 2020. Todd Frazierâ€™s $9 million and Zack Wheelerâ€™s $5.975 million salaries will be off the books, but many arbitration players will see nice raises. Noah Syndergaardâ€™s $6 million salary will get a nice boost and so will guys like Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, and Marcus Stroman. This could leave the Mets with very little leeway to make a splash in the offseason free agent market.
Yoenis Cespedes has really put a damper on things for New York and restricted their ability to sign players. His $29.5 million salary next season will continue to hold them back, along with Robinson Canoâ€™s hefty salary. Still, the team is capable of writing a massive check for the right bat (maybe Anthony Rendon?) and are very capable of making a big splash in their large market. They were in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, so why not another big name like Rendon?
Some players proved that they may not be long-term solutions for the Mets next season. Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton appear to be out of the picture, moving forward as pure backups.Â
Meanwhile, Brandon Nimmo has established himself as a top of the order bat and Conforto has proven his worth, too. The outfield is set.
With Alonso manning first base, Cano taking second, and Amed Rosario showing signs that heâ€™s a long-term shortstop answer, most of the infield is set. Third base seems to be up in the air, but Jed Lowrie (who missed most of this season due to injury) figures to play there primarily if they donâ€™t fill that position in the offseason. Wilson Ramos should return as the regular catcher, so there isnâ€™t a ton of needs for this club beyond a starting arm and some bullpen pieces. A major bat would help protect Alonso, so the Mets would figure to be in on some names.
Pete Alonso was just subbed out of Game 162. He received an ovation as he walked off the field.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 29, 2019
Alonso's almost unfathomable rookie season:
Alonso is the first Met, and the first rookie, to lead MLB outright in home runs.
This has the Mets lineup projected to look something like this: Rosario, Nimmo, Alonso, Conforto, Cano, Lowrie, Ramos, someone else and then the pitcher spot. Adding a legitimate power bat like Rendon or Josh Donaldson could make things that much sexier and are real possibilities. Donâ€™t expect Cespedes to come back and make a splash, as he figures to take up a bench position.
Alonso is the staple for this young organization and he just showed it by wowing the entire baseball universe.
Pete Alonso on New York: "New York has embraced me. Iâ€™m just so thankful. I want to keep saying thank you to everybody in the city. Mets fans especially. This is home. This is home now."— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 29, 2019
Now itâ€™s up to the Mets front office to build a powerful lineup around him.Â