Saturday, March 2, 2019

Pete Alonso Could Rewrite the Mets Rookie Record Book

This could be a familiar sight at Citi Field very soon.  (Michael Reeves/Getty Images)

Pete Alonso has dropped the "r" from his first name.  If he plays the way we all think he's capable of, he might soon be dropping several well-known Mets first-year hitters down a spot in the team's rookie record books.

As with most rookies in this era of baseball, Alonso stands a chance to not make the Opening Day roster.  Instead, he would be called up by the team shortly after the start of the season to give the Mets an extra year of control before Alonso becomes eligible for free agency.  That could hamper his ability to catch some of the Mets' best offensive neophytes in some categories.  But then again, Alonso did manage eye-popping totals in just 132 games at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2018.

Which players could Alonso supplant atop the Mets' rookie leaderboard if he continues to mash at the major league level?  The names are among the best in franchise history.


Home Runs

Player
Year
HR
Darryl Strawberry
1983
26
Ron Swoboda
1965
19
Ike Davis
2010
19
John Milner
1972
17
Jay Payton
2000
17




 Runs Batted In
 
Player
Year
RBI
Darryl Strawberry
1983
74
Ty Wigginton
2003
71
Ike Davis
2010
71
Steve Henderson
1977
65
Jay Payton
2000
62




 Runs Scored

Player
Year
Runs
Cleon Jones
1966
74
Ty Wigginton
2003
73
Ike Davis
2010
73
Gregg Jefferies
1989
72
Steve Henderson
1977
67



 
Base Hits

Player
Year
Hits
Ty Wigginton
2003
146
Ron Hunt
1963
145
Jay Payton
2000
142
Ike Davis
2010
138
Cleon Jones
1966
136




 Doubles

Player
Year
Doubles
Ty Wigginton
2003
36
Ike Davis
2010
33
Kaz Matsui
2004
32
Justin Turner
2011
30
Ron Hunt
1963
28
Gregg Jefferies
1989
28
 




 On-Base Percentage (Min. 350 PA)

Player
Year
OBP
Jason Phillips
2003
.373
Steve Henderson
1977
.372
Ike Davis
2010
.351
Hubie Brooks
1981
.345
Kevin Mitchell
1986
.344
 


  

Slugging Percentage (Min. 350 PA)

Player
Year
SLG
Darryl Strawberry
1983
.512
Steve Henderson
1977
.480
Kevin Mitchell
1986
.466
Jay Payton
2000
.447
Jason Phillips
2003
.442
 


  

On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage (Min. 350 PA)
  
Player
Year
OPS
Steve Henderson
1977
.852
Darryl Strawberry
1983
.848
Jason Phillips
2003
.815
Kevin Mitchell
1986
.811
Ike Davis
2010
.791





Offensive Wins Above Replacement (Min. 350 PA)

Player
Year
oWAR
Ron Hunt
1963
3.9
Darryl Strawberry
1983
2.8
Steve Henderson
1977
2.6
Gregg Jefferies
1989
2.4
John Milner
1972
2.2
Hubie Brooks
1981
2.2



Pete Alonso finished the 2018 campaign with 36 home runs and 119 RBI, scoring 92 runs in 132 games.  He also produced 31 doubles out of his 136 hits, while reaching base at a .395 clip, slugging .579 and putting up a .975 OPS.  Looking above at the numbers produced by the Mets' top hitting rookies in club history, Alonso has the potential to be the best neophyte of them all.

One other thing about Mets rookies.  The six guys listed above on the oWAR chart all placed in the top three in the National League Rookie of the Year vote, with Milner, Brooks and Jefferies finishing third in their respective rookie campaigns.  Meanwhile, Hunt and Henderson were runners-up to baseball's all-time hits leader (Pete Rose) and a five-tool Hall of Famer (Andre Dawson), respectively.  And then there's Strawberry, who won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1983.

To this day, the Straw Man is the only everyday player to win the coveted award, as the other four Mets to take home the prize were all pitchers (Tom Seaver, Jon Matlack, Dwight Gooden, Jacob deGrom).  That means Alonso could join a very exclusive club if he approaches the numbers he put up in the minors last year.  Even without reaching those lofty figures, Alonso still has an excellent opportunity to become one of the best first-year hitters in club annals.

All he needs is a chance and his bat.  With those two things, the Mets rookie record books could soon be adding a new name.


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