Power-hitting Mets prospect is making a Pete Alonso trade slightly more palatable

Every dinger is another sprinkle of salt to make the idea of trading Pete Alonso taste a little better.
New York Mets v Detroit Tigers - Game Two
New York Mets v Detroit Tigers - Game Two / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

The big buzz around the New York Mets this summer seems to be about whether the team will or will not trade Pete Alonso and everything that comes along with it. Where does he go? What does the team get? Will they actually hold onto him?

In any case, the Mets face an uncertain future at first base even if they pull off the biggest miracle since walking on water. Alonso’s free agency at the end of the year is sure to have him testing the market. With agent Scott Boras pulling the cart, the chances of a surprise extension seem implausible.

The Mets have a lot of directions to go next season if they don’t have Alonso. Free agents. A trade. A stop-gap with someone like Mark Vientos. Further along into the future is a Mets prospect who was victimized early this season by the deadly-on-lefty-hitters ballpark in Brooklyn. Ryan Clifford, since his promotion, has been a much better hitter in Double-A Binghamton. A walk-off home run on Friday night helped highlight his red hot bat.

Mets prospect Ryan Clifford is finally getting comfortable

Clifford, the big red hot Mets prospect, had a disappointing start to his tenure with the organization last season after the trade deadline and at the beginning of this season. In fact, he struggled mightily even after he escaped Brooklyn. It is only over the last few days where we’ve gotten a good glimpse of what the future may look like in a positive way.

In 52 June plate appearances, Clifford is slashing .306/.500/.917 with 6 home runs and 14 RBI. Following a miserable May featuring just a .155/.311/.262 batting line and only a single home run plus 40 strikeouts in those 103 plate appearances, it’s a complete 180 degree turn.

Not even 21-years-old until late July, Clifford’s overall season totals are nothing remarkable. Batting .214/.398/.417, it’s the recent success we should cling to most.

This is a player who can guarantee a few things, though. Power. Walks. Strikeouts. Those three outcomes are a big part of his game. The batting average remains a tough tell as he hit .337 in 25 games in A-Ball prior to a promotion last year. It fell to a reasonable yet still very good .271 with the Houston Astros High-A team only to crater with the Mets at .188.

Clifford has a major league ETA of 2026 which doesn’t solve the absence of Alonso for next season. Spending the rest of this season in Double-A with a blueprint to have him in Triple-A for the following year seems to be the path expectation. However, we have seen the Mets promote quickly from within the farm system. The 2026 MLB ETA is far more conservative. Late 2025, as a September call-up and candidate to come off the bench swinging big in the playoffs, might be the dream scenario.