As a whole, the 2021 New York Mets were disappointing, but several individual players did have impressive seasons that stood out like diamonds in the rough. On a team that finished 27th out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored, 25th in home runs, and 24th in OPS, Pete Alonso had one of the Mets’ few full seasons of solid offense.
He continued to prove that his record-setting rookie season was no fluke, socking 37 home runs (third in the National League) and driving in 94 runs (tied for 11th in the NL). Alonso also continued to defy his Minor League reputation by providing solid defense at first with five defensive runs saved (third among NL first basemen).
On a Mets team that frequently struggled to provide any pop at the plate, Alonso was their healthiest and most consistent bat all season.
Let’s take a look at Alonso’s five best on-field moments in the 2021 season. These are strictly in-game or baseball-related highlights, so unfortunately his loving, but wildly out of tune rendition of “Happy Birthday” for teammate Dominic Smith on June 15 doesn’t make the cut, although it is worth checking out.
5. Sept. 7: Alonso smashes his 100th and 101st career home runs vs. the Miami Marlins to propel the Mets to victory
If not for the shortened season in 2020, Alonso would have reached 100 career home runs a lot sooner, but his milestone blast in loanDepot Park still made history. With his 100th career homer, Alonso became the second-fastest player ever to hit 100 home runs in terms of games (347), trailing only fellow first baseman and slugger Ryan Howard, who did it in 325 games.
Alonso also became the first Mets player ever to hit 30-plus home runs in two of his first three seasons. He hit 16 long balls in 57 games in 2020, which over 162 games would have put him on pace for about 45 home runs and would have extended that record significantly. Want even more eye-popping Alonso home run stats? He leads all of MLB in home runs since he debuted in 2019 with 106, and ranks seventh in MLB history with 106 home runs in his first three seasons, despite the fact that one of those seasons was only 60 games.
The Mets were still clinging to playoff hopes by a thread when Alonso’s two homers lifted them to a 9-4 win over the Marlins. Though they didn’t end up getting over the hump, Alonso’s two-homer game that night helped solidify that his record-setting rookie year was just the start of many, many more Polar Bear blasts to come.