Peter Alonso Strives To Be A Complete Player
Peter Alonso had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, but the slugging 24-year-old first baseman wasn’t as proud of his six home runs as maybe a surprising statistic: He went 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Alonso isn’t going to win many foot races, but he’s out to show the Mets he can be a complete player as he prepares for an opportunity to earn the starting first base job in spring training.
It’s a goal that appears attainable for Alonso, a 2016 second-round pick out of Florida, after the Mets began the offseason by non-tendering Wilmer Flores and trading Jay Bruce to the Mariners. Both played first base last season.
"Some of the best baserunners in baseball aren’t the fastest people,” Alonso said. "For me, it’s picking spots and understanding the times to the plate and certain counts—just knowing the situation. Picking the right spot to go and just making a move.”
Alonso was disappointed he didn’t receive a September callup after leading the minor leagues with 36 home runs and 119 RBIs in a season he split at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. New general manager Brodie Van Wagenen set out to placate Alonso by meeting with him in Arizona.
"He has a burning desire to be successful,” Van Wagenen said. "(Alonso) has shown me that he’s a rare prospect who is willing to identify personal areas for improvement and proactively dedicate himself to the work it takes to address those areas.”
Defense is high on that list—Alonso has been improving his glove work with the help of infield instructor Tim Teufel—but baserunning is also important to him.
"I want to take the extra base and do what I can do because all runs are extremely valuable,” Alonso said. "I want to add that in my back pocket, so I am just not the stereotypical power guy. I want to be a complete baseball player.”