An email to answer:
“Tell me please that Peter Alonso is real.”——-from SheaMetsFan78
New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso is ripping up Double-A, hitting .314/.440/.573 with 15 homers, 43 walks, and 50 strikeouts for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Eastern League. Obviously a strong performance, and a fine follow up from his 2017 season.
Pre-season I had Alonso ranked third on the Mets Top 20 prospects list with this comment:
3) Peter Alonso, 1B, Grade B-/B: Age 23, second round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; hit .289/.359/.524 with 18 homers, 27 walks, 71 strikeouts in 353 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; showed very good power despite feeling the effects of a hand injury much of the season; doesn’t strike out much for a home run bat but can be somewhat aggressive and a few more walks would be nice; or not, right now there’s not much reason to change his approach since it works; bigger concern is defense, with a career .980 fielding percentage at first base, an unacceptable ratio at that position; past defensive rep was positive so glove will hopefully improve; ETA 2019.
He’s boosted his already-robust production at a higher competition level, always a good sign. His isolated power is up and he’s made some adjustments with the strike zone, keeping whiffs well in line for a power hitter but with a dramatic and better-than-nice boost in walk rate.
The bat is certainly ready for Triple-A and I imagine he’ll make a lot of noise in the Pacific Coast League once he moves up. I wouldn’t be afraid to give him a major league trial later this year.
That said, defense remains a serious concern.
As noted, his error rates have been very high for a first baseman. This issue is a little better this year but not by much, his fielding percentage this year standing at .986.
While you can live with a few extra errors from a player who has good range, Alonso isn’t that type of first baseman; Baseball America for example describing him in their 2018 report as an “uncoordinated, slow-bodied defender” who needs to make significant improvements to be playable. Too many errors combined with poor range won’t cut it.
It should be noted that spring training reports on his glove were positive, one source telling BA that Alonso’s “footwork has improved, and his recognition off the bat has gotten better. . .he has improved on popups and is working on glove-side grounders. His throwing is solid.”
So far those reported improvements are only showing up in a marginal way within the regular season boxscores. Still, all agree that Alonso has worked quite hard at improving his glove and even if the results are not everything hoped yet, he still has a chance to be acceptable down the line.
Bottom line: his defense still needs more work but the offense is definitely real. I’d move him up to a straight Grade B prospect now with more possible depending on how his glove progresses and assuming he continues mashing once he arrives in AAA.