#4 on my list of potential breakout candidates is none other than Peter Alonso.
The 24-year-old first baseman is coming off a breakout season where he hit .285/.395/.579/.975 with 36 HR and 119 RBI across 132 games with Binghamton and Las Vegas (now Syracuse).
He won the Joe Bauman Home Run award for leading the minor leagues in home runs. Alonso made MLB Pipeline’s prospect team of the year along with Jeff McNeil and was just named the best first base prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline and has been all over top 100 lists recently. His rankings are as follows:
Baseball Prospectus: #40 ranked prospect
Baseball America: #48 ranked prospect
MLB Pipeline: #51 ranked prospect
Keith Law: #90 ranked prospect
Going into Spring Training the Mets starting first base job is open for the taking. Todd Frazier, Dominic Smith, and Peter Alonso will be battling for the job. Frazier and Dom might have a head start on Alonso due to the Mets getting an extra year of control if they keep him in the minors for the first two weeks of the season. However, based on what Brodie Van Wagenen has said about Alonso, this offseason, it appears that the slugging first baseman has a very real shot to take the job.
It remains to be seen if Alonso’s fielding has improved. His defense was cited as a reason he wasn’t promoted last year.
“First and foremost it’s about his development. Coming into the year, the offense was something we felt pretty confident about. The defense he had to work on and continues to be something he needs to be working on,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said regarding why Alonso is in the minors. “Right now, it’s as much about his development as anything to keep working on the defense. It’s a lot harder to do it here. In theory, the speed of the game, it’s harder to work on things. You have to perform.”
One thing is for sure though. The power is LEGIT.
Here’s his HR off a 103 MPH fastball with Brodie Van Wagenen in attendance:
If Alonso is able to adjust to MLB pitching quickly, that would further lengthen the Mets lineup and we could be talking about a potential rookie of the year campaign for Peter.