3. Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso burst onto the scene in his rookie year and hit a franchise and rookie record 53 home runs in 2019. While he hasn't topped the 53 homer mark since he's become a much better overall player.
This past season Alonso slashed .262/.344/.519 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI. The numbers look similar, but Alonso looked like a more complete player. He went from the 18th percentile in K% in 2019 to the 61st percentile in 2021. He went from the 24th percentile in whiff rate to the 45th percentile in 2021. Lastly, he went from the ninth percentile in outs above average to the 74th percentile.
Alonso has become more of a pure hitter than he was when he first came up. This should help him put up even better numbers while still being a guy who can hit 50+ home runs.
Alonso would have to hit 50+ homers to be considered, but I believe he can do that. Combining that with improved on-base skills and better contact rates I expect Alonso to hit for a higher average with more home runs, thus catapulting himself into the MVP conversation.
His big path to improvement with the bat would be hitting breaking pitches better. Alonso hit .295 against fastballs but just .223 and .225 against breaking and offspeed pitches respectively.
Alonso also keeps improving as a defender at first base. He posted -6 OAA in his rookie year followed by -5 OAA in 2020. This season he had 2 OAA. That's a massive jump for a player once seen as a defensive liability. An even better season will help his WAR and improve his MVP case even more.
An MVP season is unlikely, but not out of the question assuming the power, improved discipline, and team success are there. Alonso has a very good chance at being the best hitter on one of the best teams in baseball. If that happens, he will get some MVP consideration.