While the Mets had large holes in their 2021 lineup, their reliance on Pete Alonso as a run producer is the most glaring. Please, not again.
Alonso freely wears his emotions on his sleeve, and he is vocal about saying he is damned tired of losing, albeit choosing the wrong forum or words to express his concern at times.
Still, a big kid doing a man’s job in a Mets uniform, Alonso operated in a vacuum of run production in a lineup that underperformed before and after his at-bats.
By the numbers, no Mets’ player appeared in more games than Alonso (152), drew as many walks (60), hit more home runs (37), scored more runs (80), or drove in more runs (93). And in case you are wondering, he did not lead the Mets in strikeouts – that honor went to Jonathan Villar.
Now 26, Pete Alonso is the property of the New York Mets for the next three seasons, after which he’ll be a free agent for the 2025 season.
All indications are that Alonso is still having fun playing baseball at this level. His enthusiasm is unbridled and is matched only by Brandon Nimmo.
Mets: Will They Wear Pete Alonso Down?
But, consider this. With three seasons already in the “did not make the playoffs” column, will Pete Alonso maintain that optimism if three more failing seasons grip the Mets?
No, because he is not the type of player like Francisco Lindor, who has $341 million toward his financial future.
Or James McCann, the overrated backup catcher who gladly accepted the $40 million the Mets handed him last offseason, only to turn in a .232 BA with 10 HR, 46 RBI, along with an atrocious OPS+ of 77 when the major league average is 100.
The Day Of Reckoning Will Come
The money is not crucial to Pete Alonso yet. Still, there will come a day when he will have a right to ask Steve Cohen for a piece of the Mets, and unlike the reception that Theo Epstein received for asking the same, Alonso will be on terra firma in making the demand.
More than money, though, Pete Alonso is all about winning, and for the Mets to do that, he needs a supporting cast because even he can’t do it alone.
Brandon Nimmo and Javier Baez (if the Mets sign him) are a good start at the top of the lineup, creating traffic on the bases for Alonso to jump on by driving them home.
But even more significant are the Mets, who bat behind Alonso. Neither Dominic Smith nor Jonathan Villar provides much of a threat, and that limits the number of fastballs Alonso sees in an at-bat.
As this column has highlighted on numerous occasions, the Mets have many items on their to-do list this offseason.
Therefore, it’s not likely they can find two or three bats that fit in to give Alonso some help this year, but one is not too much to ask.
Mets: You Are Now Officially Warned
Instead, this is to send up a flare to Cohen and the Mets that it would be a mistake to take Pete Alonso for granted.
Alonso is of a different breed of players, and he will not be enticed with dollars as quickly as the Mets found with Lindor.
Beginning this year, the Mets have two more to show Pete Alonso they mean business in building a team that is, at a minimum, capable of making an appearance in the World Series.
Alonso won’t grumble, whine, and moan if the Mets continue their losing ways – instead, he’ll quietly take a walk.
The kid is putting up some extraordinary power numbers, and he has at least seven years of peak production ahead of him.
In sum, regarding Pete Alonso, the Mets need to consider the future as much as the pressuring needs for 2022.