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Mets Exit Interview: Pete Alonso crushes the first chapter of his career

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets reacts after his third inning home run against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 28, 2019 in New York City. The home run was Alonso"s 53rd of the season, breaking Aaron Judge's rookie record. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets reacts after his third inning home run against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 28, 2019 in New York City. The home run was Alonso"s 53rd of the season, breaking Aaron Judge's rookie record. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 25: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets looks on during their game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 25, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso crushed his way into MLB history this past season.

It took some time, but Pete Alonso finally made the New York Mets roster out of Spring Training this year. He took the first base job and never looked back.

After spending too many years in the minors, dealing with defensive concerns, and then going on to have a historic rookie season capped with him winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award, Alonso has become one of the best players on the team and a cornerstone piece of the Mets who will be part of the core that will seek to win a championship.

Let’s take a look at his 2019 season and what we should expect from him next year.

What Went Right

Alonso did almost everything right in his first season in the majors. He slashed .260/.358/.583 while batting in 120 runs. He hit a whopping 53 home runs, a Mets record, and MLB rookie record. He was named to the All-Star Game and won the Home Run Derby. After just one year, he has become a power-hitter whom no pitcher wants to face.

He was a home-run hitting machine, but his bat wasn’t the only thing that impressed the baseball world. The main reason it took the Mets so long to call Alonso up was his poor defense at first base. Both fans and management alike knew they would be running a risk by trusting his glove, but he had to be called up.

Defensively speaking, Alonso was a pleasant surprise. He was much better than expected and even made several highlight-reel worthy plays. The Mets are a very bad defensive team, so fans are lucky that he didn’t turn out to be a disastrous defensive player.

Alonso’s got game, but he was impactful in terms of leadership and energy, as well. His enthusiasm and positivity have made him a likable player. When the Mets appeared to be out of a game, Alonso never quit and was one of the guys who got them right back into it.

He played a crucial part in leading the Mets to late wins. Even to those not in the clubhouse, it was clear how great the chemistry was between Alonso and his teammates. The importance he placed on interacting with fans is also admirable. He got them riled up during every game, and anyone could tell how much he cared about them being part of what the Mets did.

Alonso had many great off-field moments but the best, especially as someone who plays in New York, was definitely his 9/11 cleats. He asked MLB if the Mets could wear first-responder caps during their game on 9/11 but after they said no, he bought commemorative cleats for all of his teammates, which they wore during the game.

He didn’t care that it wasn’t allowed, he just wanted to show the city of New York how much he cares and how thankful he was that fans welcomed him with open arms. And as if that wasn’t enough, Alonso donated the cleats he wore that game to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Alonso has become an honorary New Yorker who is going to be the face of the New York Mets because of his on-field excellence and who he is off the field, as well. It looks like the Mets have a captain in the making. He will be more than the great successor to David Wright.

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