Mets slugger Pete Alonso wins Rookie of the Year with a veteran’s mindset
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is officially the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year winner. The accomplishment comes in a year where he showed a veteran presence on and off the field.
It’s official New York Mets fans. Pete Alonso is the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year winner. The no-doubt decision to vote the MLB home run champion and all-time rookie home run king as the league’s top freshman became a reality on Monday with the announcement.
Just days after Alonso failed to win the Silver Slugger Award in what was a close call between him and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, the Polar Bear took home an award he seemed to lock up with weeks left to go in 2019. The final voting tally included 29 first-place votes for Alonso. The lone vote he didn’t get for first-place went to another member of the Braves, pitcher Mike Soroka.
Alonso may have played in 2019 as a rookie. Looking at his numbers, leadership skills, and other intangibles, he was anything but a first-year player.
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While the kid did struggle to make contact at times and struck out a few dozen too many times than we would like to see, he made up for it with clutch power. Alonso always seemed to come through for the Mets. Whether his bad or lips did the talking, Alonso became the leader the Mets needed in 2019.
This past season was a good one for the orange and blue team. Even falling short of the playoffs, there were plenty of positive takeaways.
Alonso led the way on this list of “reasons to smile.” By smashing 53 home runs, he did something we never saw before. He set multiple records for both rookies and Mets players. In one year, he helped bring hope to a franchise looking for more.
It was Alonso’s off-field accolades which make him look even less like a rookie. His September 11th cleats and insistence on paying tribute to the first-responders was admirable. He didn’t go about this half-heartedly either. Alonso embraced New York and everything it’s about. New Yorkers can sniff out a phony quicker than just about anyone. Not for a moment did Alonso appear like someone being disingenuous.
The Rookie of the Year honor is the first for the Mets since Jacob deGrom took home the award in 2014. Alonso has a lot of deGrom in him already. Both are top players at their position and have the qualities we look for in an athlete. They care about winning, the fans, and have immeasurable talent.
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Congratulations to the Polar Bear on achieving this feat. As one of the stars in baseball for the next generation, I can only imagine what he brings to the field for the next decade-plus.