New York Mets: Pete Alonso is Following a Similar Path to Stardom
The New York Mets have had a less than stellar season so far. Mets fans have dealt with a poor front office, a manager on the hot seat and a horrific bullpen. Throughout all the trials and tribulations of this season so far there is a bright spot and ray of hope. His name is Pete Alonso, and it looks like the Mets might have found their homegrown superstar.
The Mets drafted Alonso 64th overall in the MLB Amateur Draft 3 years ago. He spent 3 years at the University of Florida before hearing his name called in the draft. One of the many things that have separated the Mets and Yankees is a big-name or homegrown star. Now everyone knows about the Yankees core four and how they all came on around the same time through the Yankees system. The Mets, however, haven’t had that type of luck in developing a true homegrown superstar. Although David Wright is the first name that comes to mind when thinking of homegrown stars for the Mets, there wasn’t any point where the average MLB fan would consider him a superstar. Pete Alonso has a chance to change that.
It’s just a small sample size but Pete Alonso is having a very similar rookie season to Aaron Judge. During his rookie campaign, Judge batted .284, smacked 52 home runs, drove in 114 RBIs and had a .627 slugging percentage with an OPS of 1.049. This all in only 155 games. He was one of the catalysts of the Yankees improbable run to the ALCS. Judge was selected to the all-star game, finished 2nd in MVP voting, won Rookie of the Year as well as being awarded the Silver Slugger. All of these are tremendous accomplishments which are exactly why Mets fans should be excited at the fact that Alonso seems to be on a similar trajectory.
Alonso is currently batting around .270, has 32 home runs, 72 RBIs, a .613 slugging percentage and an OPS of .978. His 32 home runs are 3rd in the MLB and his 72 RBIs has him tied for 8th. Not to mention he’s 9th in WAR. His first half was so good that the fans selected him to the All-Star game this year at 1st base. Not only that but he competed in, and won, the Home Run Derby. Something Judge also did in his rookie season. It’s worth noting that the prize for winning the Derby was $1M. Alonso currently makes $550,000 which is the league minimum.
Alonso has brought an air of excitement to the Mets faithful. Even if the Mets lose, the play and intrigue around him kind of take the sting away a bit. Almost reminds you of Mike Trout (no I’m not comparing Alonso to Trout) in the sense that it’s an exciting player on a below-average team, that also plays second fiddle in their sports market. Alonso should have the same allure Judge had as a rookie but there are a few reasons why it isn’t so. One of them is just the sheer popularity of the Yankees and the other being team success. The Yankees were a playoff contender during Judge’s rookie campaign whereas the Mets have struggled throughout Alonso’s first season.
For Mets fans, the hope is that Alonso’s hot start to his career continues for years to come. New York has had some good young players over the past few years but they’ve been mostly pitchers. Remember how great Matt Harvey was for the Mets when he burst on the scene a few years ago? He’s on the Dodgers now. Jacob DeGrom won the CY Young last season but seems to have taken a step back this year. Yes having a superstar pitcher is great but there’s just something about having a position player being the face of your franchise that just means more.
So far Alonso has checked all the boxes for a budding superstar. He’s electrifying with his play and also handles himself fairly well with the New York media. He possesses great character as well. An example of this is him donating 5 percent of his Home Run Derby winnings to the Wounded Warrior Project and another 5 percent to Tunnel to Towers. With a good head on his shoulders and skill to match, New York Mets fans should be excited for what the future holds in this young budding star.
Does Pete Alonso make you excited for the future of the New York Mets? Leave a comment below.
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