Thursday Thought: Pete Alonso has entered MVP territory

Jun 14, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) hits an
Jun 14, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) hits an / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have something special in first baseman Pete Alonso. Not only is he a fun guy who fans love to root for, he’s also been one of the premier power hitters in the game since his arrival in 2019.

Pete is having his best non-juiced-ball season to date. He’s slashing .282/.360/.564/.924 with a National League leading 22 homers, a Major League leading 69 RBI’s, and an OPS+ of 161. He also leads the NL with seven sacrifice flies and he leads the majors with six intentional walks. ESPN projects that he’ll finish the season with 48 homers and 151 RBI’s, which is incredible.

Pete Alonso has blossomed into the complete player the Mets hoped he would, and he has officially entered the MVP conversation.

We’ve always known that Pete would hit for power, but his evolution into a more complete hitter is a game-changer not just for him, but for the team as well. He’s no longer the guy who just hits rocket homers and doubles. He still does, and it ‘s so much fun to watch, but he’s now also the guy who can hit a sac-fly to drive in a run, or go the other way to beat the shift.

Take a look at his spray chart on Baseball Savant. You’ll see that most of the homers and doubles are to the pull side, which is expected, but look at all those singles he’s placing in right-center or right field. There’s a huge cluster right where the second baseman would play in normal defense, thanks to his ability to beat the shift. That’s a fantastic adjustment from his previous seasons.

The scary thing is that he could perform even better in the second half. If the Mets can acquire another power bat to protect him, teams will have to pitch to him more, which should lead to him doing even more damage.

The Mets have yet to have an MVP winner, but they’ve certainly got a chance with Pete Alonso in his prime for the next few years. Anytime you talk about a guy approaching 50 homers and 150 RBI’s, they’re among the best in the sport in terms of production and the damage they can do on any given swing. Unfortunately he’s got stiff competition, with the MVP objectively being Paul Goldschmidt’s to lose at this point, but that doesn’t change the fact that Pete is performing at an MVP level and likely will for the next few seasons.

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