If you were a baseball fan in 2019, you must have watched the rookie sensation in Pete Alonso. The New York Mets first baseman put on an absolute clinic in his rookie season. Not only did he win the National League Rookie of the Year, but he also led the MLB with 53 home Runs. However, he took a step back in 2020. Should this be something to be concerned about?
Pete Alonso’s Historic Rookie Season
With the 64th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the New York Mets selected first baseman Pete Alonso. Little did they know what he had in store. After spending three years in the minor leagues, he was called up for the 2019 season.
In his 4th career game, versus the Miami Marlins, he hit his first-ever home run, a three-run homer. In the first 77 games of the year, Alonso hit an astonishing 26 home runs. He then participated in the traditional Home Run Derby, where he took the crown over Blue Jays rising star Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
During his historical rookie campaign, Alonso was also the first-ever National League player to hit 40 or more home runs in their first season. He continued to impress fans across the entire league. Alonso was also a key part in why the Mets turned around their season. After starting 40-51, they won 21 out of their next 26 games, even though they missed the postseason at 86-76.
Even though he had several milestones in 2019, the biggest one had to be the rookie home run record. Previously held by crosstown star Aaron Judge with the Yankees, Alonso hit his 53rd home run on September 28th vs the Braves. He surpassed Judge’s record of 52. This led to an NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Pete Alonso was headed into 2020 with major expectations.
Pete Alonso Takes Step Back In 2020
Coming into the season with sky-high expectations, Pete Alonso hit a sophomore slump. In 57 games, while he still had 16 home runs in a shortened year, his batting average dropped significantly. After hitting .260 in 2019, he slumped and finished with a .231 average in 2020.
Alonso finished the season striking out 30 percent of the time. That goes to show how his swing was much tighter in 2019 and struggled to hit balls inside the plate in 2020. From a lack of discipline to overaggressiveness, 2020 was not Alonso’s year.
Pete Alonso has a lot to prove in 2021 if we wants to become a star player.
How Can Pete Alonso Bounce Back In 2021?
While he was inconsistent for most of the 2020 season, Alonso can have a huge year in 2021 for several reasons. First of all, he may feel more confident under Steve Cohen‘s ownership. Playing under the Wilpons’ is not ideal. Since he is playing under competent ownership, the Mets may sign new players so there is less pressure on him.
Playing in a full season should help too. Due to the 60-game schedule, fans were unable to see if he could have a late-season turnaround. Besides, since Alonso also experienced defensive struggles, the universal DH will provide a much-needed opportunity for Alonso to focus on key instincts of hitting.
Overall, even if Alonso doesn’t replicate his rookie success, he should still have a fairly solid season in 2021. Mets fans, including myself, are hoping for a huge year by Alonso in 2021.