Peter Alonso is one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. Let’s get to know the New York Mets future first baseman a little better.
Peter Alonso is the New York Mets second best prospect, baseball’s best first base prospect, and a player that Mets fans are itching to see in Queens. Many expected to see him join the Mets late last season, but his defensive woes scared the organization and he was left in AAA to improve in that area.
The 24-year-old stands at 6’3” and weighs 245 pounds. He played third base in high school and went on to play first base at the University of Florida. He was named All-Southeastern Conference his freshman year and played in the 2016 College World Series.
The Mets drafted Alonso in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft. That season, he was chosen to participate in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. In 2018, Alonso hit a whopping 36 home runs, notched 119 RBI, and was awarded the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, which is given to the Minor League player who hits the most regular season home runs.
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In three seasons in the minors, Alonso has slashed .290/.381/.560 with 70 doubles, 59 home runs, 203 RBI, and an OPS of .940.
Alonso’s offense in the minors has been otherworldly, and fans believed that was enough for him to be called up towards the end of the 2018 season. After all, the team was struggling and it was evident that a playoff run was out of the question, so calling up the youngster would not be such a bad idea.
However, this did not happen because of his abysmal defense. Alonso has struggled defensively for years: he is not particularly flexible and his lateral movement is not impressive. He has committed 28 errors in the minors and exhibits difficulty making basic plays. His defense has been so poor that even though the Mets were not in a good position, management still did not think it would be a good idea to call him up.
The Mets have had a clear problem at first base for some time now: Adrian Gonzalez manned the position from the start of the 2018 season until the Mets seemingly unexpectedly released him in June, and Dominic Smith has been quite disappointing.
Even though the Mets have been collecting infielders during this past offseason, it is likely that Alonso is going to end up being the man for the job. Because Alonso’s defense has been so poor, I do not expect him to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster, even though he was invited to Spring Training and I expect his offense to be phenomenal during that month.
Unless his defense has improved dramatically, we are going to have to wait to see Alonso in Flushing. But I am confident that the organization has faith in him and will promote him soon, regardless of the fact that they have players like Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Todd Frazier, all who can play first base.
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Fans should be excited to see Alonso join the team in their pursuit to make the playoffs but must also pray that he has worked on his defense substantially. Spring training cannot come soon enough.