Got your attention? This is the big Peter Alonso, drafted by the Mets in the second round of the 2016 Rule Four Draft. Guy’s got some impressive pop.
1B, 6’2/225, R/R, U of Florida
Alonso was part of a very talented Florida lineup that included 2016 first rounder Buddy Reed, and potential 2017 First Rounders JJ Schwarz and Dalton Guthrie, as well as 2018 Potential First Rounder Jonathan India. At the epicenter of the lineup, Alonso proved to be a force to be reckoned with, slashing .374/.469/659 with 18 doubles and 14 homers in 58 games as a Junior. In three seasons and 157 games in the SouthEastern Conference (probably one of the top college leagues in the country), Alonso hit .316/.407/.517 with 34 doubles, 4 triples, and 23 homers.
Alonso didn’t excel in the Cape Cod League in 2015, hitting for no power and slashing .255/.351/.286 in 26 games for the Bourne Braves. However, in the Northwoods League in 2014 (another college league with wooden bats), he hit .354/.419/.624 and placed second in homers with 18 in 59 games. After being drafted 64th overall in the draft, Alonso played 30 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones, hitting .321/.388/.587 with five homers and 12 doubles and a triple.
This is a double on July 12th.
Alonso’s scouting report is just pure power. I’ve heard stories about the guy in Brooklyn’s MCU Park as he flicks his wrists….aaand it’s gone. In the 2015 College World Series, Alonso opened eyes with the first ever home run to Center Field in TD Ameritrade Park’s then-four year history. Watch this, it’s a beauty. Based on raw power projection, it can be conceived as a 70 on the 20-80 projection which can mean around 30+ homers annually. The question is…will he get to it? Alonso’s bat speed is plus according to Keith Law, which is nice, but it’s working as a short stroke, rather than a bat made for power, and more geared towards insanely well-struck liners. Others state it’s a more strength oriented swing, rather than bat speed, which may be problematic. He started using a more open stance, that uses more of his hips to give him better rotation in his swings. Lately he has started to work towards hitting all-fields also, which was a nice byproduct of the shortened stroke.
In terms of defense, Alonso was a third baseman who was undrafted out of High School, and bulked up further and became slower. He has decent actions as a first baseman, and an above-average arm. This makes me wonder if the Mets would suggest trying him at Third base if they value his bat, especially if they have Dominic Smith, who cannot move from First Base, effectively blocking him. I know it’s a stretch with Alonso’s already lack of mobility, but Mets have tried square pegs in round holes before, and his bat profile does match a third baseman. Should Smith succeed, this could be an option if they really believe in Alonso.
Now for the sad parts…caveats
While his success at the Cyclones was very intriguing, I need to point out that the SEC and the New York-Penn League are similar, and possibly the NYPL is lower in talent. The New York-Penn League is usually the stop for
- Top College Picks
- High Schoolers with one or two years of experience that the front office liked enough to showcase in a bigger stadium than advanced rookie league.
- Latin American Players with a couple years under their belt that the front office liked enough to showcase in a bigger stadium than advanced rookie league.
SEC is one of the top conferences in the country, so it may be a *little* uneven for a guy who just excelled there in his third season of play to go to Brooklyn. To give you a better understanding of what I mean, I’ll give you some more insight: I logged velocity quite a bit for the Cyclones in 2010, and Yohan Almonte pitched to a 1.91 ERA while barely touching 90 miles per hour and having iffy breaking balls. Little Angel Cuan had a mid-80’s fastball and a 2.03 ERA in fourteen starts. That’s all you need to know about why it may be easier for the SEC guy.
The other issue is some noisy hands during his load that may lead to even more strikeouts as he progresses through the minor leagues. Since the rate spiked by nearly six percent in a nearly-lateral move from the SEC to Short-Season Pro Ball, that’s not a great thing, but he has a few years to make some adjustments. His strikeout rate spiked from junior year of college (12%) to nearly 18% in Short Season-A ball, which is not great considering that difficulty in the minors obviously scales up.
My third worry, is injuries. Alonso gets dinged up quite a bit. Alonso missed 30 games in 2015 with a broken foot and nose and then missed time in 2016 with a broken left hand. He then suffered a broken pinky in his right hand on August 10th. That will need to be monitored moving forwards.
Other than that, a righty bat profile is a steep hill to climb. We just saw Michael Katz, another righty power bat with a strength-oriented swing cut after two seasons. Also, often times with a righty bat at first base, you’ll have to monitor splits versus same side pitching moving forward, as many right handed power bats end up being the short side of a platoon.
Alonso has a steep hill to climb, especially to be considered an alternative to Dominic Smith by the people not into Dom’s lack of showing power at a position known for it. I think with the advanced bat, Alonso will find himself in the Florida State League at High-A, which will be more challenging for the guy.
St. Lucie Mets Covered:
1B Peter Alonso