Since making his Major League debut in March, Pete Alonso‘s impact on the New York Mets offense has been immediate. If given the opportunity, the slugging first baseman would love to swing for the fences in Cleveland in July.
The New York Mets offense has been up-and-down all season long. Pete Alonso, however, is the most notable exception. The 24-year-old National League Rookie of the Year candidate is slashing .270/.355/.581 through 40 games.
His 12 home runs rank fourth in the NL, while his 32 runs batted in are seventh. This immense power has led to an intriguing question: How does he feel about participating in the Home Run Derby during this year’s All-Star festivities at Progressive Field?
We have seen some hitters struggle post-derby. Notably, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge chose not to defend his title last year. After winning the 2017 derby, Judge suffered a shoulder injury and a prolonged slump in the second half of that season.
These concerns do not appear to be impacting Alonso’s decision.
“It’s one of those things that would be extremely fun to compete in,” Pete sounded. “If I got invited, I’d love to do it. I’m sure during All-Star week it’d be an electric environment.”
More than pride is on the line for the derby participants. In an effort to get elite hitters to participate, Major League Baseball will give the winning slugger $1M this year. Previously, derby winners received $150,000. With Alonso still being in the pre-arbitration stage of his career, $1M would nearly double his season salary of $550,000.
Alonso has his manager’s blessing to participate, too. “I think it would be something cool for (Alonso) to experience,” Mickey Callaway said. “It’s going to be hard to say you can’t do it.”
If he does receive and accept an invite, Alonso would have a chance to make some history. The only Met to ever “win” the derby was when Darryl Strawberry was co-champion with Wally Joyner in 1986. Alonso could become the first Met to win it outright.
Mets looking to get back above water
The Mets defeated the Washington Nationals on Tuesday to get back to the .500 mark. The club will look to move above this mark for the first time since May 2 on Wednesday.
For the latest on Pete Alonso and all things Mets, follow Teddy Rydquist on Twitter @TeddyRydquist.
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