The New York Mets will enter the 2022 season (once it finally begins) with a major question to answer: Who is going to be the team’s primary designated hitter?
In the first installment of this series, I analyzed the case for and against making J.D. Davis the primary designated hitter. In this article, I go across the diamond and examine the case for Mets first baseman Pete Alonso to assume the primary designated hitter role.
One supporting argument for Alonso becoming the primary designated hitter is that the move would allow him to focus on his main strength as a player. Alonso has been the Mets best power hitter ever since he came up to the big leagues. Although Alonso’s power numbers were not what they were in his rookie year that saw him clobber 52 home runs, they still led the team each year. As a focal point in the Mets offense, Alonso would be able to concentrate solely on hitting and not have to worry about getting out on the field to play defense at first base.
As a pure power hitter, Pete Alonso would make a great designated hitter for the Mets, given their offensive struggles the past few seasons.
Taking Alonso off the diamond would also decrease the chances that Alonso would potentially get injured. As a team, the Mets have been very unlucky when it comes to keeping their stay players healthy. Suffice to say, it would behoove the team to take all necessary measures to ensure that they do not find themselves in the situation they found themselves in 2021.
The last main reason why Alonso should become the Mets designated hitter is because the team already has another first baseman on the roster in Dominic Smith. Although known for his hitting ability as well, Smith isn’t quite the same offensive threat that Alonso is; however, what he brings to the team is better defense at first base. Because the National League has not ever had the designated hitter, Smith has been forced to play left field to keep his bat in the lineup. However, the reality is that Smith is out of position as an outfielder, and is much better suited to playing first base.
With Alonso being the designated hitter, this would allow Smith to reassume his best position and provide the Mets a chance to get a true left fielder to play the outfield. Doing so would make the team better defensively and put their young players in a better position to succeed.