Every major league team has some pleasant surprises each year. Through the first few weeks of 2019, these three players stand out.
The New York Mets have had their share of surprises, both good and bad this year. They had pretty high expectations going into the year with key offseason acquisitions both by trade and free agent signings.
Even though the Mets had high expectations it is not surprising to have a few pleasant surprises. There are always guys that go down with injuries or struggles that open doors to smaller guys who surprise everyone. Let’s look at three pleasant surprises from the Mets in April.
Pete Alonso got his name known last year when he tore up two levels of the minor leagues and led the minors in home runs. He was invited to the futures game last summer and ended up hitting a home run as well.
When news broke that Alonso would break camp with the Mets it was just a matter of time before we would get to see him mash at the major league level. The expectations were pretty high for Alonso due to his history in the minors and a hot spring training this year.
Alonso did not disappoint one bit the first month of the season. He was expected to play well, but he played above and beyond what could have been expected. He led the team in runs, home runs, RBI, and slugging in April.
Alonso was in the top 10 in the majors in home runs, RBI, and slugging for the month of April as well. He led all National League rookies in home runs, RBI, and slugging too. As a result, Alonso was awarded the National League rookie of the month award for April.
Going into the 2019 season it was hard to see J.D. Davis getting a whole lot of playing time with a crowded infield. With injuries to Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie, it opened up space for Davis to play,
Davis only had parts of two seasons in the books before this year and they were not great by any means. He struggled to get hits and get on base, resulting in a low batting average and on-base percentage. He was though a pretty solid hitter in the minors, hitting for a good average, with a solid on-base percentage, and showed signs of power. Going into the year he wasn’t expected to be anything great, more of a depth guy who would play once in a while to give guys days off.
The first month of the season has been a lot better than most would have expected for Davis. Although he is not an everyday player, Davis has made the most of his time when he was on the field. Although a small sample size in just over 60 at-bats, Davis did hit 3 home runs, hit for a solid average and OBP, showed good discipline at the plate drawing 11 walks and striking out 12 times, and had some clutch hits.
Heading into the 2019 season, it appeared that Dominic Smith would platoon at first base with Pete Alonso. Alonso ended up starting the majority of games the first month, but Smith still produced in the slightly limited time he was given.
Smith was used in all but two games but had significantly less at bats than everybody else because he was primarily used as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement. Smith did make the most of his limited at-bats in April, batting over .370, having a .500 OBP, and driving in a few runs.
Smith has struggled to produce at the big league level the previous two seasons, so to see him get off to a good start is promising. He could be a great weapon off the bench late in games as a pinch hitter and a solid defender late in games too.
Of course, due to his recent demotion, it may be a while before he gets a chance again.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Are there any other Mets that were pleasant surprises in April?