An MMO Fan Shot by Puddy
When you take a look at the Mets’ current farm system, there isn’t much to gloat about. There isn’t 1 Top 100 prospect, according to MLB’s prospect list, after Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith graduated last September. There has also been a lot of injuries and setbacks suffered by top Mets prospects, such as Thomas Szapucki, Desmond Lindsay, Blake Tiberi, Jordan Humphreys, and so on.
But there is one guy in the farm system who I believe has a bright future as the first baseman for the Mets…
Meet Peter Alonso, a slugging first baseman, who was selected out of Florida in the 2nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Alonso is best known for his hitting. He clubbed 18 home runs in 353 at-bats between A+ St. Lucie and AA Binghamton in 2017. We’ll get to some more statistics on Alonso later.
He did run into some bad injury luck, though. He broke his hand and was on the Disabled List from April 12th to May 25th. Had he not suffered that injury, he may have been ticketed for AAA in 2018, with a Major League promotion looming. Instead, he only participated in 11 games at AA last season, so he’s most likely headed back there. Nonetheless, being a seasoned collegiate bat, he’s still not years away from the Majors.
So you may be asking why Alonso isn’t considered a Top 100 prospect himself. It’s because the rest of his game is still suspect. Scouts have concerns about his speed, which is below average, and his defense is questionable as well. While these are concerns, if he can grow into an adequate defender who can make the routine plays, I wouldn’t worry much. As the first baseman batting in the middle of the order, his bat is what will keep him in the Major Leagues.
And don’t forget, the scouts said Michael Conforto was a poor defensive left fielder back when he was a prospect… and fast forward years later, and he’s proven to be a fine defensive left and right fielder, and passable in center. My point is, scouts can get these things wrong.
Now, lets not forget about Dominic Smith, who like Alonso, is entering his age 23 season. While I’m not going to write off Smith completely as a Major League contributor, you can only keep one of the two long-term, and I prefer Alonso’s offensive ceiling and profile.
While Smith was drafted higher than Alonso and was a Top 100 prospect before his promotion, he’s the guy I’d package in a potential trade for a second baseman or a pitcher. Some main reasons why I prefer Alonso is because at A+ St. Lucie, he had the lower groundball rate and lower BABIP, while having the higher ISO, wRC+, wOBA, and walk rate.
Tale of the Tape:
GB%: Alonso 43.2%, Smith 47.9%
BABIP: Alonso .314, Smith .351
ISO: Alonso .231, Smith .112
wRC+: Alonso 157, Smith 133
wOBA: Alonso .402, Smith .361
BB%: Alonso 7.2%, Smith 7.0%
It should be noted that Smith was 20 at A+ St. Lucie, while Alonso was 22, but he hasn’t played enough games at Double-A yet to properly compare the two. Both Binghamton and Las Vegas are known to be much better hitters parks than St. Lucie is, so while Smith saw an uptick in production while advancing through the Mets’ system, it’s predictable to see the same upticks for Alonso.
As for Smith’s other tools, he projects to not be much better than Alonso, if at all. Both are below average runners and both have limited range defensively. Smith may have an edge with his soft hands, although he didn’t show that at the Major League level in 2017. But even if he did, I don’t think that advantage is enough to put him over the hump.
To conclude, I have been very bullish on Alonso since the day he was drafted. There’s been debate over who is the next first baseman of the future after Lucas Duda‘s departure, but my vote goes to the young slugger, Peter Alonso.
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This Fan Shot was written and contributed to MMO by reader and die-hard Mets fan Puddy. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to GetMetsmerized@aol.com or use this Contact Form. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.