Pete Alonso wins the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year award
Remember when everyone thought Pete Alonso wasn’t even going to make the 2019 Opening Day roster? That seems like eons ago, as the 24-year-old ended up exceeding expectations, and then some. One of the most dynamic hitters during the regular season, Alonso was awarded by being named the National League Rookie of the Year.
This is the sixth time a player on the Mets was honored with the award, and the first since Jacob deGrom won it in 2014. The others were Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). Alonso received 29 of 30 first-place votes, with one voter giving his vote to Mike Soroka of the Braves.
“This is a hell of an honor. I just really feel blessed,” Alonso stated when the announcement was made. “I’ve got to say thank you to the New York Mets for giving me the opportunity right out of Spring Training and believing in me from day one. I’d also like to say thank you to my teammates, because without such an awesome group of guys to facilitate my development, I wouldn’t have put together the season I did.”
— Mike Piazza (@mikepiazza31) November 12, 2019
Following a successful Spring Training in which he led the Mets in a variety of categories, Alonso was named a starter for the team. He ended up going 1-for-4 with his first major league hit. Prior to the start of the season, FanGraphs had him hitting 239/.324/.450 with 24 home runs and 110 hits in 122 games. It is safe to say that those numbers would have been a letdown, as Alonso ended his season with a .260/.358/.583 slash line, 52 home runs and 155 hits in 161 games.
Those 53 home runs by Alonso not only shattered Strawberry’s Mets rookie record set in 1983 (27), but it also broke the MLB record for a rookie set by Aaron Judge in 2017. The blasts were just that, as almost every time he swung the bat the ball would disappear. Alonso showcased that same power during the Home Run Derby (during his first All-Star weekend experience), when he put on a fantastic performance to edge the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The world found out just how special of a talent he is and could be in the future.
Alonso hopes to win the Gold Glove next season as well as a World Series ring. If the Mets were to secure Alonso, it would mean procuring one of the top stars in the game today.
A ttrue leader in the Mets’ clubhouse, Alonso created a vibe that helped boost morale when the Mets were close to making the playoffs. He hopes to have that same energy boosted next season now that he has more experience under his belt. If he produces like he did last season, there is no doubt we won’t be seeing a one-trick pony.
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