New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is on pace to hit more home runs than anyone else in franchise history by a wide margin.
It has taken New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso 63 games to hit 21 home runs. At 21, he’s more than halfway to setting a new franchise record held by Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley. Each of them smashed 41 in a season while employed by the Mets. In his first crack at the record, Alonso may wipe them from the first page of the record book.
Alonso hit number 21 on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. It took an umpire review to ensure he went yard. Thankfully, it had the distance and Alonso was able to tack on some insurance late in the game.
As Tim Britton of The Athletic kindly pointed out, Alonso is not only on pace to break the team’s home run record. He’s ready to smash it. The kid is on pace for 53 dingers. This would obliterate home run totals from every other player in Mets history.
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Pace is one thing and keeping up with it is an entirely different animal. Along with staying healthy, Alonso has to stay fresh and adjust to pitchers. As a first-time major league player, he hasn’t been through the full 162 game grind. Last year, he did get a chance to play in the Arizona Fall League shortly after the minor league campaign ended. This did allow him time to rest up and pick up right where he left off.
Alonso won’t have the same luxury in the big leagues. There’s no break. And I imagine he’s going to need as many games as possible to keep up with his record-setting rate of home runs.
The amazing thing is, Alonso has time to slump and still set the record. He could go an entire month without one and end up as the all-time single-season record holder in the organization’s history.
The home run record isn’t the only one Alonso could set this season. David Wright’s 159 strikeouts are also in reach. Alonso is averaging more than one per game and could easily strike out close to or more than 180 times.
Throughout the existence of the Mets, there has never been a pure power hitter on the team like Alonso. Dave Kingman is the closest thing and he never had the type of year Alonso is having. Kingman was more of an all-or-nothing style. He was just a .219 hitter with the Amazins. In the early part of his first season, Alonso has shown he’s much more.
This season has had its peaks and valleys. One constant has been the daily possibility of seeing Alonso hit a baseball a very long way. With enough of them on the year to buy a beer, he is well on his way to becoming one of the franchise’s greatest sluggers of all-time.
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And for what it’s worth, if Alonso does hit 53 home runs, he’ll need only 200 more to become the career leader. Watching how he hits, it may not take long.