MLB Pipeline has named New York Mets minor leaguer Peter Alonso as their top first base prospect for 2019. He ranks 51st overall.
Peter Alonso was recently named the MLB Pipeline’s top first base prospect, leading a list of 10 prospects. Alonso, 24, has yet to make his highly anticipated MLB debut for the New York Mets but is on the precipice of his first big league at-bat. With Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen refusing to rule out an Opening Day spot on the roster, there’s a good chance his status as a prospect does not last long.
While Alonso on the opening day roster would be a surprise to many, given the extra year of control the Mets gain by waiting a few weeks into the season, Alonso headlining MLB Pipeline’s list shouldn’t surprise many.
MLB Pipeline more recently also has Alonso as their #51 overall prospect, on their Top 100 list. He is the highest Met on this list, with Andres Gimenez checking in a few ticks down, at #58.
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Alonso batted a strong .285, pacing the minor leagues with 36 home runs and an impressive 119 RBI’s. He also posted a .395 OBP across both levels, showcasing the patience necessary to be a high on-base threat.
MLB Pipeline cited his bountiful raw power and strength, which directly leads to his thunderous home runs and tremendous exit velocities, putting him atop the list with the best power tool of the bunch. They graded it 60 on the 20-80 scale and referenced his ability to translate his tools to in-game power.
They also cited Alonso as the best candidate on the list to win the Rookie of the Year award, given his expected ETA in early 2019.
Alonso is certainly drawing a lot of hype this offseason, and these listings only add to it. Van Wagenen has talked about Alonso’s talents with conviction, and clearly has plenty of confidence in him to produce significantly this year, even despite their offseason infield acquisitions, citing the competition as further fuel to the fire for Alonso’s motivation.
This is all well and good, and there’s plenty of reasons to be excited. I hate to be that person, but it’s fair to wonder whether tempering the expectations on Alonso might be judicious.
Alonso saw his strikeout percentage climb to an ugly 25.9% in AAA from a below average 18.3% in AA. The Mets have had a few power-hitting first basemen struggle in the contact department (see: Ike Davis, Lucas Duda) but Alonso has shown so far he can make enough contact to tap into his daunting power potential.
His defense is another major concern, and it’s reportedly what kept the Mets from calling him up last year, although I’m certain the financial implications played a heavy hand as well.
There’s a lot to like about Alonso, but he comes with concerns as well. I think numbers similar to those CJ Cron posted last year for the Tampa Bay Rays, would be fair to be pleased with from Alonso in his inaugural campaign.
That being said, I am high on Alonso, and the talent is there to grow into a premier offensive threat at first base. MLB Pipeline wouldn’t have gone so far as to name him their number one prospect at the position if there wasn’t.
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Mets brass and fans are expecting immediate results from Alonso in 2019, and the rest of the MLB world is beginning to take notice as well. The pressure is on, but it’ widely believed, myself included, he has the talent and makeup, to perform.