The Mets’ Pete Alonso continues to amaze the Amazins.
Teammates and manager Buck Showalter couldn’t help but marvel Sunday after Alonso became the fifth player in MLB history to record three years with 40 home runs through five career seasons.
Alonso — who slugged his 40th and 41st home runs of 2023 during Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Mariners — also tallied his 100th RBI of the season, making him the fourth Met to reach that milestone three times.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Fransisco Lindor, who joined the Mets in 2021. “I don’t think he has had his best year yet. I didn’t see the rookie season where he hit [53 home runs in 2019] but I think Pete could hit .300 and still hit 40 home runs in a year.”
Alonso, a career .254 hitter, has never batted above .271 in a season, but his 187 home runs rank fifth on the Mets’ all-time list. His only year with fewer than 37 homers came in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the season to 60 games.
“He takes advantage of the anxiety that he creates in pitchers,” Showalter said. “They would kid him in the dugout [calling him] ‘the tablesetter’ with the walks and a single here or there. He’s called himself ‘the tablesetter’ a few times. He knows they’re pitching him very carefully. To do things when everybody’s expecting you to do it, it’s one my great [sources of] respect.”
Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews, Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard are the only other players with at least three 40-homer campaigns through five seasons. Alonso described being in their company as “mind-baffling.”
David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Darryl Strawberry are the only other Mets with a trio of 100-RBI seasons. Alonso said he considered his 100th RBI Sunday to be more meaningful than his 40th home run because he prides himself on driving his teammates in.
“Doing it consistently can for sure put a target on your back, and for me, I know I’m going to get everybody’s best stuff. … I like driving in runs, and I feel like that’s an art form,” Alonso said. “You can be taught it, but it takes a lot of discipline, especially when pitchers are throwing around you in tough situations. I do whatever I can to be prepared and do what I can to help the team win.”
Alonso is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season and has been the subject of trade rumors after the retooling Mets unloaded veterans including Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer for prospects.
The historic homers Sunday offered a reminder of Alonso’s elite standing in baseball and temporarily overshadowed the Mets’ youth movement, which included Friday’s MLB debut of prized prospect Ronny Mauricio.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a player hit 40 home runs in person, so it’s really incredible,” Mauricio said of Alonso. “Tremendous player.”
Showalter described Alonso as “special.”
“He’s not driven by contracts and money and whatever,” Showalter said Sunday. “It’s like I was talking to him the other day. He goes, ‘I’m gonna be able to pay the bills the rest of my life. I’m good.’ Pete’s got some other things in mind. He really wants to be the last team standing.”
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