SNY dropped a graphic on Twitter last night showing just how prolific of a home run hitter New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has been. We know he doesn’t have enough seasons under his belt to have a total large enough to be among the greats. Instead, it’s home runs per at-bat they used to prove a point.
Before dismissing the qualification of needing 2,500 plate appearances, it’s worth looking at how other players with 3,000 plate appearances have done. There may be a few trapped within that 500 range who’ve done better, but it’s unlikely because Alonso would still rank fifth all-time. He’s well ahead of Joey Gallo who entering Wednesday was parking one once every 13.36 at-bats.
NY Mets slugger Pete Alonso truly is among the great sluggers of all-time
Like many baseball statistics, home runs per at-bat can have some misleads along the way. Lots of walks can contribute there which is why we find Gallo and Kyle Schwarber next in line behind Alonso. However, all of the retirees within the top 10 all-time are members of the 500 home run club. Once reserved for only the best of the best in terms of hitting home runs, it’s an astonishing achievement for anyone to reach and even more so in today’s game.
Alonso’s 53 home run season as a rookie helped jumpstart the process of being among the best sluggers in MLB history. The same thing happened with Mark McGwire and again with Aaron Judge. It seems to be one of the important keys to doing so. Longevity and maybe some aid from foreign substances helped as well.
The big guy still needs a little less than 200 plate appearances to officially make his way onto Baseball-Reference’s list of this statistic. He should do so early next season. Passing Barry Bonds would be a major achievement and it seems amazingly doable before next summer hits.