New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is coming off a dazzling rookie season. What can we predict from him in year two?
This time last year, fans of the New York Mets were passionately debating whether or not Pete Alonso should make the Opening Day roster. In fact, many were frustrated when the team elected to forgo an extra year of contract control in order to ensure the slugging first baseman was in the major leagues at the beginning of the season.
Fast forward one year, and Alonso has ascended to super-stardom! Not only was the Polar Bear able to claim a unanimous National League Rookie of the Year selection, but he also edged out Yankees phenom Aaron Judge for the major league rookie home run record, and added the 2019 Home Run Derby title to his trophy case.
As the season approaches, Alonso is firmly cemented as one of the most important players on the Mets’ roster. Where do he go from here? Here are three predictions for 2020:
Home Run Derby Champion, Again
In the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively unimportant accomplishment. While the home run derby is a fun event, Alonso would be the first to tell you that his personal goals deal with helping the team win.
However, there’s also no denying that the slugger had the time of his life in last season’s derby. His energy and excitement were contagious (even through the TV screen). In fact, many have speculated that his enthusiasm was a major catalyst toward his victory.
The field should be loaded in 2020. Sluggers like Christian Yelich, Mike Trout, Jorge Soler, Eugenio Suarez, Cody Bellinger, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Josh Bell are all likely to be considered as contest participants. The “juiced ball” season in 2019 will also likely regress to the mean, leading to lower home runs totals across the sport.
At the end of the day, Alonso still has massive power. There is reason to believe that his skills as a hitter will be improved with the benefit of a full MLB season under his belt. Expect him to be the odds-on favorite to win the event.