New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is an elite power hitter. What if he focused on hitting more and didn't play in the field much at all?! Would it improve his hitting even more? Would it keep him healthier? It makes sense to take a look at how he hits as a first baseman and how he hits as a designated hitter. You can take a look for yourself to see just how he does as a DH. Let's analyze how he does and if it's better for him to become a full-time DH.
The New York Mets' Pete Alonso is an elite middle of the order bat and needs to be treated the best way possible.
Alonso is a career .260/.350/.532 hitter as a first baseman. He is a .229/.279/.615 hitter as a designated hitter. In 2022 so far, he hit .353/.389/1.000 as a DH. As a first baseman, he's hitting .241/.283/.259 so far in 2022. It's important to point out that he doesn't have that many AB's in that role, with 64 in AB in 2020 being his highest total so far. It's obvious that the samples are too short, but this year he's been phenomenal as a DH.
Would it really be a bad idea to give Alonso more time as a DH? Alonso has been consistently playing most games throughout his career and has never missed significant time with an injury, so you can't really use precedent in order to justify moving him for health reasons. That said, injuries can always pop up while playing the field and Alonso is no exception to this, especially being a big 245 lb guy, he might definitely be helped by taking more time away from the field.
It makes further sense to take a look at Alonso's defensive ability... According to dWAR, he's never been more than a below average first baseman. Would it make sense for the Mets to just bite the bullet and move him to DH instead of Robinson Cano? Cano seems to be on his last legs and is currently batting an abysmal .184/.225/.263 as a 39 year old who didn't even play at all last season. Of course the question then would be who can take over for Alonso at first base? The answer would either have to be a worse defender in Dominic Smith or a trade acquisition.
It appears that replacing Alonso at first base isn't easy based on the current roster construction, so perhaps it shouldn't be a serious consideration at the moment. Alonso also has been hitting better while playing in the field, so it's not really justifiable to use success in a small sample size this season to move him to DH, Going forward however, it definitely makes sense for the Mets to consider a future with Alonso as a DH.