At the start of spring training, it looked like a sure bet that Pete Alonso would start the season in the minors, despite members of the Mets front office saying they would take the best 25 players up north with them. The Mets still had Frazier on the roster and just signed Jed Lowrie, creating logjams all over the infield.
However Frazier hasn’t played in a game this spring. Jed Lowrie hasn’t played in a game this spring. To compensate the Mets will most likely have to move Jeff McNeil back to the infield and there is still a hole at first base. Dominic Smith is having a terrific spring training. However Dominic Smith seems to be the unluckiest player in the world because despite him having a terrific spring, Pete Alonso is having an even better one.
2018 Minors: 574 PA, 478 AB, 36 HR, .285/.395/.579
Alonso destroyed the baseball last year and there were opportunities late in the season to get him playing time and experience coming into this year, but the Mets played the service time game that they may be playing right now. Here are how the major projections sites see Alonso performing in the majors:
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. )
ZiPS and Steamer are awfully close to each other everywhere except WAR, which I’m assuming is difficult to predict for a player with 0 service time anyway. BP is close to them, but a little more hesitant. ESPN, which usually jumps in the direction of more offense is the most shy on Alonso.
Most of these projections do not having playing a full season, or have him getting at least one day off per week if he starts the season with the team. In that scenario 20ish homers seems about right. However if he crosses 525 PA’s, that number should closer to 25 homers following the projection patterns. That would be huge!
Let’s see what happens. Alonso’s first hurdle is the Mets brass.