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New York Mets prospects

Mets of the Future: Peter Alonso putting the pressure on Dominic Smith

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: New York Mets fans celebrate after Michael Conforto
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: New York Mets fans celebrate after Michael Conforto
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One way or another, the New York Mets will end up with a young first baseman on the roster in 2019. If it’s not Dominic Smith, number four prospect Peter Alonso will get the gig.

New York Mets prospect Dominic Smith is playing well with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. No matter how well he hits, the first base gig in New York may not belong to him in 2019.

That’s because the Mets have another noteworthy prospect making noise in the minor leagues. Down in Double-A with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, first baseman Peter Alonso is putting together a fine year. He’s batting an outstanding .370/.469/.815 through his first eight games. With it, Alonso has also blasted three home runs.

On a team where current Mets backup catcher Tomas Nido is the only other guy hitting over .250, it’s impressive to see Alonso take charge and carry this offense.

The great start poses a few questions about Alonso’s future with the Mets.

Could he take advantage of this hot start? Will Smith’s shortcomings allow Alonso to pass the once-prized first base prospect?

A closer look at Peter Alonso

Alonso’s career is still in its infancy. The 2016 second-round draft pick debuted shortly after the Mets selected him, capitalizing on the opportunity to play professional baseball rather quickly.

In the 30 games he played with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Alsono tore up the league for a slash line of .321/382/.587. He added five home runs in 123 trips to the plate while also driving in 21.

As if this wasn’t promising enough, Alonso showed his true power stroke in 2017.

Beginning the year at High-A with the St. Lucie Mets, Alonso batted .286/.361/.516 with 16 long balls. He finished up the year with 11 games in a Rumble Ponies uniform, knocking two more. Clearly, the kid is on the right road toward MLB.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Alonso thus far in his professional career is his defense. He made 19 errors in 2017 after not committing any in his brief stint with Brooklyn the year prior. Although the Mets have employed plenty of bad defenders are first base in the past, this could make him a liability at times.

If Alonso can hit for average and use his power to punish opposing pitchers, a few too many errors won’t matter in the long run.

Next: Matt Harvey's season could get ugly

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MLB.com projects Alonso to make his big league debut in 2019. When he does, expect a nice fight from Smith to try and win the starting gig away.

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