by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It may have come as a surprise to many when Peter Alonso was ranked as our #2 prospect for the New York Mets, receiving a “B+” grade. He’s often overlooked, partly due to the presence of Dominic Smith who could run with the Mets’ starting first base job for the next 10 years. With Alonso pigeon holed as a first base only prospect, he’s going to need a trade (either of himself or Smith) to find a role. That will happen, eventually, because Alonso could force the issue.
Alonso was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft and since joining the New York system has shown an impressive approach at the plate. He spent the bulk of his time at High-A in ’17, getting his feet wet at Double-A (47 PA), combining for an 18.1% strikeout rate courtesy of an 8.9% SwStr%. Obviously there’s a risk that more advanced pitching could expose him more, but as MLB.com noted after the ’16 season:
“Alonso had shortened his swing and used the whole field more effectively during his junior season, and he carried that over last summer. There had been questions about his hit tool, but he didn’t show that in Brooklyn, striking out well below the leave average rate and making good adjustments. If he can continue sticking to his solid game plan, that will allow him to tap into his tremendous raw power — some evaluators put a 70 on it — with more consistency.”
He showed a similar SwStr% from his time at Low-A in ’16 (8.0%), so it’s obvious that he’s been able to maintain his improved approach. That’s led to the strong average, as well as more than enough extra base hits:
- 2016 – 12 doubles, 1 triple and 5 HR
- 2017 – 27 doubles, 1 triple and 18 HR
The question is if/when he’s going to be able to tap into his power, which MLB.com mentioned in their scouting report and Prospect 361 referred to as “big time raw power” after the ’16 season. Given his size (6’3” and 245 lbs.) and his approach, it’s just a matter of development before it translates into games and he really grabs our attention.
We are not about to compare Alonso to the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, who has shown power with a better command of the strike zone (6.4% SwStr% in ’17). That said Alonso could prove to be a “lesser” version with the potential to hit .280+ with 25-30 HR annually. That profiles as a good first baseman in the Majors, just not necessarily an All-Star.
Alonso is already grabbing attention, and when he begins tapping into his power he’s going to go flying up prospect rankings. Pay attention now, before it’s too late.
Grade – B+
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, Prospect 361, MILB.com
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists: