The indictment reads that Peter Alonso is a hitting machine, but he suffers from serious defensive shortcomings in the field. You mean like Daniel Murphy?
Chances are Peter Alonso will never become the Met’s eleventh Gold Glove winner. And if he did, he would be just the second Met first baseman to do so (Keith Hernandez won several from 1983-1988). By comparison, only five teams have fewer Gold Gloves than the Mets, and even the Houston Astros, who joined the league the same year as the Mets (1962) have four more Gold Gloves than the Mets.
So it’s not like the New York Mets live and breathe with players who excel defensively.
All indications based on Peter Alonso’s career to date point to him as an explosive hitter. Last season, only his third as a professional ballplayer, Alonso accounted for 31 doubles, 35 home runs, and 119 runs driven in, with games evenly split between Double-A and Triple-A Mets farm teams.
Peter Alonso also drew national attention when he slammed a two-run home run in the Future’s Game held during the All-Star break in Washington D.C. (video here)
Alonso was assigned to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) by the Mets where he is also tearing it up (still) with three home runs and nine RBI with a long way to go before he finally takes a break as a prelude to Spring Training with the Mets.
Here’s the thing, though. The Mets voice a concern about Alonso’s defensive skills – yet they allow the AFL coaches to play him as a DH, instead of at first base where he needs to take reps in the field all day every day. Are the Mets again not paying attention, and is there anyone in their franchise charged with the responsibility of player development?
Here’s another little tidbit for you to ponder. According to a report by Mets Merized Online, the Mets favorite as their first baseman of the future, Dominic Smith, has sat for two games in a row in favor of Carlos Franco while playing in the Dominican Winter League. If Franco continues his hot hitting, Smith faces being cut from the team, mainly because in that league they play to win and there’s no waiting around for someone to produce. Hear that, Mets front office?
Probably not, but someone has to ring the bell around here. So, why can’t the Mets take a bit of the pressure off this kid, telling him, “Peter, you are going to be in our starting lineup on Opening Day. Keep doing what you’re doing and take care of yourself.”
Don’t just sit there telling the world Peter Alonso can’t play first base. Do something about it. Develop him. If he’s athletic enough to drive 97 mph fastballs deep into the night, surely he’s athletic enough to scoop balls out of the dirt and dance the dance around the base as major leaguers do.
Right or wrong, the Yankees are committing themselves to Gary Sanchez as their catcher, despite the fact he wears a glove with a hole in it. Daniel Murphy is another example of a player who makes a pretty good living with his bat, not with his glove. And who’s to say Peter Alonso will never become a top-flight defensive player. After all, he’s only 23 with three years of professional ball under his belt.
The Mets often confound me. But how they are handling Peter Alonso rises to near the top of the how can this franchise continues to be such a dysfunctional storyline…
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor