So, you watched the Futures Game, right? Well, even if you didn’t, you definitely saw the absolute moonshot that Mets prospect Peter Alonso hit in the game yesterday. There has been word that if in the minor leagues they tracked exit velocity and launch angle that a good percentage of Alonso’s home runs would prove to be on a special level in both categories. His home run yesterday is proof that no Major League player has hit a home run with that kind of height AND exit velocity since Statcast launched in 2015. He had an exit velocity of 113.6 miles-per-hour, a launch angle of 46 degrees and the ball traveled 415 feet. To hit a ball that high and that hard, just wow.
Here's a graphic of Peter Alonso's Futures Game home run.— David Adler (@_dadler) July 15, 2018
Of over 20,000 home runs tracked by Statcast since 2015, Alonso's is only the 35th with a launch angle of 45° or higher.
His is the only one of those hit 110+ mph. And the only one over 400 feet. pic.twitter.com/nb6r8GCgDo
Alonso, 23, was a second round pick by the Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida. He has done nothing but rake since he’s entered the Mets system, as evidence by his minor league career .923 OPS. I saw Alonso play for Brooklyn, and I have seen the likes of Ike Davis, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo all really struggle to put a ball out to right field in Brooklyn with the way the wind comes in at MCU Park. I knew the power was real when I saw him simply flick his wrists at a ball away and park it with ease to right.
In 2018, Alonso destroyed Double-A Binghamton. In 65 games he hit .314 with a .440 on-base percentage to go with 15 home runs and 52 RBI. At this point Mets fans were clamoring for Alonso to come up to the big leagues to replace Adrian Gonzalez. I cautioned that I believed Alonso could benefit from some time in Triple-A, and he did get promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas where in 23 games he has struggled as far as batting average goes hitting only .190. The positive is that he has 6 home runs and 14 walks in those 23 games. The power and on-base skills are there and I have zero doubt he will turn it around average wise and become the Peter Alonso we all know as he returns after the break.
While the bat is not much of a concern for Alonso, his glove at first base is a bit of an issue. Defense is never going to be his strong suit, but he works very, very hard on his defense every single day with coaches. You are going to get the best he can possibly give in the field due to his work ethic, but he still is likely going to be below average at the spot. If his bat plays as it has and I expect, Mets fans will tolerate the occasional issues defensively.
From people I talk to throughout the Mets system, there is zero concern about Alonso being able to handle New York from a mental perspective. He has thick skin and an abundance of confidence to go with great work ethic and hustle. He is a player who has fun playing the game, and I think teams need more guys like that. He is not without flaws, but he is going to be a fun player to watch play at Citi Field.
Speaking of Citi Field, the question that is now being asked is “I saw the home run. When will the Mets call him up?” The Mets enter the All Star break at 39-55 and with the impending selling of some veteran pieces, it actually COULD get worse. I personally would like to see Alonso play out close to the rest of the regular season with Triple-A which ends September 3rd. My eye would be on letting Dominic Smith play as much 1st base as possible in August and Alonso comes and starts to get his feet wet for the month of September. I believe it is important for the team to get a real look at Alonso this year, as there is a good chance he is at the worst competing for the 1st base job when the 2019 season rolls around. I expect in very short order Darren and The 7 Line will have to keep an eye out because Alonso will be able to reach you guys in right center at Citi Field. The power is real, the on-base skills are real, and very importantly the person is real. In another lost year, at least Mets fans can look forward to the thunder in the bat of Pete Alonso coming soon to Citi Field!