Despite a monthlong slump, the Mets first baseman has all but sewn up the NL Rookie of the Year Award
There was a time at the end of March, just as the season began, that people thought that Pete Alonso could challenge for, but ultimately fall short of winning the National League Rookie of the Year. The hot talk was around Victor Robles of the Nationals who hit .288 with some pop in a late-season preview in 2018. Fernando Tatis, Jr. was the top-rated prospect in the game. They both had better money lines than Alonso, who was there at a respectable +375.
And then Pete started hitting a lot of baseballs very, very far. So many that he obliterated the NL rookie record and has three weeks to hit eight to pass the 52 that Aaron Judge hit in 2017 for the MLB rookie record. So many that he now has more homers than Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, and Eugenio Suarez. So many that you now have to lay down $200 if you want to win $100 when he wins the award.
That’s not to say there haven’t been other excellent rookies in the NL. Tatis (+275) held up his end of the deal, hitting .317 with 22 homers, 53 RBI, and stealing 16 bases in 84 games before his season ended with an injury. Mike Soroka (+600) of the Braves is 11-3 with an ERA hovering 2.5 and a WHIP near 1.0. Brian Reynolds of the Pirates is second in the league in hitting with an average north of .330, clubbing 16 homers with more than 30 doubles. Even though he didn’t play his first MLB game this season until August 1, Aristides Aquino already has 15 homers, 37 RBI, and is cracking a ball out of the park once out of every 8.3 at-bats.
But for the mixture of it all, Alonso stands alone. He already has the Mets record for homers in a year (sorry Todd Hundley) and is the first member of the Amazins’ to drive in 100 runs since David Wright and Carlos Delgado did it in 2008. He has the first 100+ RBI season from an NL rookie since Ryan Zimmerman in 2007. He has a 4.6 WAR. He’s hitting .267 even with a .171 month of July. We’re not just watching a good season by a rookie. We’re watching a historic one.
And the Polar Bear is a damn good nickname too.