Pete Alonso: Elite Hitter
Pete's gap-to-gap prowess took a big leap in 2022 and the power show continued, so what's next?
Image credit: Chris Simon
Pete Alonso hits home runs, a lot of them.
But what the slugging first baseman did this year was seemingly an extension of his presumed offensive abilities: he added gap-to-gap consistency.
Alonso’s 162 hits ranked third among MLB first baseman, finishing only behind MVP front-runners Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt. Those 162 hits were a career-high for Alonso, beating out his rookie-year mark of 155. He also drove in runs at a rate unlike any first baseman in 2022, leading all of baseball in RBIs with 131.
All the glitz and glamour that comes with being a strong man and hitting the ball over the fence 40 times is all well and good, but that can’t happen every at-bat. Alonso’s home run percentage was at the lowest of his career in 2022, sitting at 5.8%. He also found his line drive percentage just a touch under his career number, (23.1%) hitting liners at a 23.0% clip.
I’d be remiss to mention that the former University of Florida Gator did ruin his 100% stolen base average this year, getting caught once in six stolen base attempts this season.
Despite that, Alonso’s production is expected to carry over into 2023, as is the leadership he exhibits. The trio of Francisco Lindor, Max Scherzer, and Alonso were shining lights in the locker room from professionalism and accountability standpoints, keeping the team on an even keel that has not been in existence as long as I have been alive.
The Mets were able to have a cool, calm demeanor in their dealings off the field while being as fiery of a team in baseball in between the chalk. That example was, in part, set by Alonso.
Image credit: Roberto Carlo
The numbers are great, the leadership is even better. But let’s talk longevity. The Mets brass should want Alonso in the orange and blue for the rest of his career. He is arbitration eligible for both the 2023 and 2024 seasons before becoming a free agent in 2025.
Steve Cohen, Billy Eppler, and the rest of the Mets’ brass should not only embrace a contract extension conversation with Alonso but initiate it.
On the performance side, the slugging right-hander should continue to find himself atop every power-hitting category possible over the next decade or so. But what he brings to the locker room, to the fans, and to the community, is David Wright-esque.
Now, what might that extension look like? Alonso is a guy who will demand his fair share of cash, but not to the extent Freddie Freeman got winter (six years, $162 million).
The Mets would be wise to attack the extension now, instead of waiting for him to hit the open market. The first baseman would probably seek the security of something similar to what Matt Olson got in Atlanta (eight years, $168 million), and he is worth every penny.
Since getting the call-up on Opening Day in 2019, Pete Alonso has left his mark on the Mets organization both on and off the field. After setting MLB’s rookie home run record, notching back-to-back Home Run Derby titles, and putting together a career-defining 2022, Alonso is poised to continue to be an impactful player for the New York Mets for years and years to come.
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