New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso can’t stop ordering rib eyes for the whole team. Through 47 games and 204 plate appearances, Alonso has already driven in 45. It’s a league best and on pace to reach 155.
At the end of May, “paces” or “Paceys” as they were referred to during the height of Dawson’s Creek, don’t necessarily hold much water—from a creek or otherwise. But it’s hard at this point of the year to dismiss all of the damage Alonso has done.
That right there is an MVP-caliber performance.
How these Mets slugger numbers compare to Pete Alonso’s rookie year
Those numbers are impressive but maybe not so much when we look at what he did in 2019 as a rookie. That year, Alonso had 120 RBI, scored 103 runs, knocked 155 total hits, had 30 doubles, and launched 53 home runs.
The pace he is on now, which would include his current slash line of .283/.348/.528 vs. the .260/.358/.583 from 2019, only really has two major differences. The twenty extra hits leads to more than 20 extra points on his batting average but a slight decline in OBP and larger one in slugging percentage. The doubles and home run totals are down, too. It’s really only the increase in singles which is leading Alonso to smash the franchise record for RBI in a single season.
It doesn’t sound so impressive when we put it in the context of what he has done before. His OPS sits at .876 compared to the .941 it was through 161 games in 2019. The OPS+, however, is a little bit higher at 152 versus the 147 personal-best set back in his rookie year.
This raises a question much like we can ask about Jeff McNeil. Would we rather have a more powerful version of Alonso for the sake of a reduced batting average? Well, when it comes to the dinosaur RBI statistic, we’re seeing how much more he can get done when he isn’t always reaching the fences.
Last year, Alonso drove in 94 runs in 637 plate appearances. He’s already almost halfway there with his 45. He should be able to get there within a few days at the most. It’s an impressive start and one MVP voters will need to take notice of if he can keep it up.
No player in either league has reached 140 RBI since 2009 when Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard tied for the National League in this category. For 150 RBI, we go back to Alex Rodriguez in 2007 when he had 156. A hard ask for Alonso to keep up with, he should still be able to challenge for the most in the National League and the Mets record of 124 shared by Mike Piazza and David Wright. At this rate, it could be as soon as Labor Day weekend when he breaks it.