The talk of the 2018 season, as far as the Mets minor leaguers were concerned, was the power display of Peter Alonso.
Whether it was Double-A, Triple-A, or the Future’s Game, Alonso was hitting the ball harder than anyone. He was setting Statcast records left and right. Seeing how well he played, people were wondering how he would do against a higher level of competition.
To the consternation of Mets fans, that next level would be the Arizona Fall League and not the Major Leagues. In the AFL, Alonso would continue his power display tying for he league lead in homers (6) and finishing second in total bases (50). Just when you thought there was nothing else Alonso could do to surprise you, he hit a 103 MPH fastball for a home run:
— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) November 4, 2018
Alonso would not be the only Mets prospect to put on a power display. Desmond Lindsay would bring a new swing in the AFL, and it worked in limited time. In his eight games played, Lindsay hit three homers. This type of power display reminds you of what the Mets expected Lindsay to be when he was first drafted.
Neither Andres Gimenez nor Ali Sanchez would hit well during AFL play, but both would leave an impression. Gimenez would homer in his first game, and he would play in the Fall Star Game. Gimenez also notably played a majority of his time at second base.
For Sanchez’s part, he would impress with his skills behind the plate notably throwing out three would-be basestealers in one.
On the pitching side, the biggest story was Gerson Bautista. After a difficult season, there may have been some who doubted if the young hurler could ever translate his big fastball to domination. After a difficult start to the AFL season, Bautista would finally do just that.
The key for Baustista was his control. Over his final six appearances, he would walk none and strike out nine batters over eight innings. Not so coincidentally, Bautista did not allow one earned run over that span. In fact, Bautista would allow just seven hits. His best performance was his October 23, two-inning performance where he earned the win after striking out five of the seven batters he faced.
In short, this is the type of dominating pitcher many expected him to be when the Mets received in the deal for Addison Reed.
Speaking of the Reed trade, Stephen Nogosek would start off the AFL season by not allowing an earned run over his first five appearances. After that, the walks finally got to him. Walks would also be an issue for Matt Blackham, who would amazingly only allow three earned runs despite walking nine batters in his 10.0 innings pitched.
Overall, when looking at the AFL, the main takeaway was how Alonso and Bautista played. While both would struggle for periods, they would ultimately show they belonged on the stage with the top prospects in the game. Ultimately, their AFL seasons could set the stage for them taking the next step and performing well in the Major Leagues.
Alonso: .255/.339/.510, 16 R, 7 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 28 K, 4 SB
Gimenez: .125/.250/.292, 7 R, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 7 BB, 15 K, CS
Lindsay: .286/.355/.643, 5 R, 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 8 K, CS
Sanchez: .120/.241/.160, 3 R, 2B, RBI, 5 K
Bautista: 1-1, 2.38 ERA, 9 G, 11.1 IP , 1.147 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
Blackham: 0-1, 2.70 ERA, 9 G, 10.0 IP, 1.800 WHIP, 8.1 BB/9, 9.9 K/9
Nogosek: 0-0, 3.68 ERA, 7 G, 7.1 IP, 2.046 WHIP, 7.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
Zanghi: 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 9 G, 10.0 IP, 1.300 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 8.1 K/9
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