New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso has not been the same hitter in the second-half. Has the Home Run Derby Curse bitten him?
During the offseason, there was a possibility Pete Alonso would not make the 2019 New York Mets Opening Day roster. Fast forward to July, and he has arguably been their most valuable player. He made impressions right away, blasting home runs over 400-feet on feet and coming up clutch when needed.
He is currently on-pace to have one of the best seasons by a hitter in Mets history, while still in his rookie campaign. Despite this, not everything has been so fantastic of late.
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The 24-year-old All-Star has been struggling in the second half of the season. Despite it being a small sample size of only 34 at-bats, Alonso is batting .117, while striking out 14 times so far after the break. What happened?
Is it a swing issue? Is it a mental thing? Is it his approach? Could it be that the Home Run Derby curse that has scarred sluggers in the past?
In 2006, the Captain, David Wright, had 20 home runs before the All-Star Break. He was asked and agreed to participate in the Home Run Derby. He hit 20 home runs before the All-Star Break and only finished with 26 home runs. His swing was different and he did not generate as much power in the second half.
Mets fans have been scared of having players participate in the derby, knowing there is a chance their production levels could change
Three of his four hits post-Home Run Derby have been long balls, showing that his power is still there. One went 445-feet and another wen 474-feet. This man still has his skillset, his power, and is only in a midseason slump.
Outside of a possible injury, the power numbers are going to keep growing; it’s inevitable.
Alonso needs to cut back on the strikeouts and bring back the same exact mentality he had before the Home Run Derby.
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It is crucial to get him back on-pace because he is showing possible signs of becoming the Mets next franchise position player.