Baseball America released its 2016 Draft Report Card on Monday, compiling lists of various top five categories, including fastest runner, best defensive player, and best pure hitter.
Under the category of “Best Power Hitter”, the Mets’ 2nd round draft pick Peter Alonso is ranked fifth among this year’s drafted players. Alonso, 21, is the lone Mets player to be listed under any of BA’s categories this year.
Alonso was taken with the 64th overall pick this year by the Mets, after a breakout season with the Florida Gators in which he slashed .374/.469/.659 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 58 games.
The right-handed slugger was assigned to Brooklyn after agreeing to a $909,200 contract, where he played in 30 games for the Cyclones before breaking his right pinky finger on August 10, after he slid into second base awkwardly for his 12th double on the season. In 109 at-bats for Brooklyn, Alonso slashed .321/.382/.587, with five homers, 21 RBI, and 20 runs scored. He led the Cyclones in doubles (12), slugging (.587), OPS (.969), and tied for first in homers with Brandon Brosher (5).
Alonso killed lefty pitching in Brooklyn, with a 1.331 OPS against southpaws compared to .721 against right-handers. Alonso posted solid numbers with runners in scoring position, slashing .433/.441/.900, with three homers and 16 RBI in 30 at-bats.
Alonso could progress quickly through the Mets’ system, similar to Michael Conforto who was also drafted out of college in his junior year, and was 21-years-old when he made his professional debut with Brooklyn. Alonso also has experience playing in high pressured games, as the Gators made the College World Series in back-to-back years in 2015-16.
MLB.com has Alonso ranked as the 13th best Mets prospect in 2016, and had the following to say about his raw power and the small tweak he made in his swing for better results at the plate:
“Alonso was making consistent, hard contact for the Gators as his junior season progressed. He’s always had raw power, but didn’t always look like he could tap into it consistently. He shortened his swing and began to use the whole field more effectively, showing extra-base pop to the opposite field. Much of his success stems from a more open stance which has helped him get his hips through more consistently.”
The six-foot-three slugger is one to keep an eye on next year, as he could be climbing the minor league ranks and pushing Dominic Smith at first base. Smith is the better defender at the position, however, Alonso’s raw power is intriguing and if he continues to develop as an overall hitter as he was doing with the Cyclones, then we might see some competition at first in the very near future.