The Polar Bear Pete Alonso is hitting home runs like few rookies have before. Some nights, he has been the only bat you want at the plate. Other times, he is in imminent danger of wearing a Golden Sombrero.
Despite some rookie growing pains at times, Alonso deserves an A grade. He jumped out to a hot start this season and has given this team a dangerous power bat in the middle of the order. It feels like centuries since the Mets last had a slugger of his ilk. At least at first base, the future looks very bright.
Prior to his injury, Jeff McNeil was one of the best hitters in the National League. Though rather quiet in the power department, he was getting a hit in every third at-bat. We all knew he was a professional hitter. This year, he established himself as one to build around.
McNeil gets an easy A grade because of how well he filled in at multiple positions for the Mets. He’s one of the most important players on this team. Without him, the “depth” they bragged about in the preseason feels a whole lot weaker.
How does a bench player earn an A grade? You do what Dominic Smith has done all year long. Not only has he handled himself well with the lack of playing time—Smith has also performed well above the expectations I think any of us had.
Smith is the best left-handed bat the Mets have off the bench. If not for Alonso’s historic start, we would probably see him in the starting lineup a bit more. Right now he’s the team’s best trade chip which is a little unfortunate because things are finally going well for the kid.