Pete Alonso provides Mets’ best chance to break MVP drought

Listed here are two sentences. One in every of them is ridiculous. One in every of them is preposterous. Which one is which? 

#1: Pete Alonso is on tempo to hit 46 dwelling runs, drive in 231 runs, and have an OPS+ of 153 this yr. 

Quantity 2: The Mets have been in enterprise since 1962 and have by no means had an MVP winner; they’ve, the truth is, solely had 11 gamers who ever positioned within the prime 5 of the MVP vote (three did it twice), and three of THOSE have been pitchers. 

Truly, they’re each form of ridiculous and preposterous. However solely certainly one of them is rock-solid fact: the Mets are certainly one of solely three main league groups who’ve by no means had an MVP; the opposite two, Tampa Bay and Arizona, noticed the Mets a 36-year head begin. 

Can Alonso be the one to finish the Mets’ MVP drought? Effectively, we should always in all probability start by breaking mild the information that he’s in all probability not going to interrupt by 40 RBIs the document that Hack Wilson has alone held since 1930 (although it’s solely affordable to consider he might hit 46 bombs, and preserve his data-point numbers excessive all yr). 

“I can’t wait to get back to Citi,” Alonso mentioned Wednesday afternoon, after the Mets have been accomplished dismissing the Phillies 9-6 at Residents Financial institution Park, capturing the rubber sport of a three-game collection, ending their season-opening street journey 5-2 and establishing one of many most anticipated dwelling openers in years Friday. “I’m all-in.” 

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso swings throughout the Mets’ win over the Phillies on Wednesday.
Getty Pictures

It’s proper that Friday at Citi Area will begin with the long-anticipated unveiling of the Tom Seaver statue, as a result of it was Seaver who introduced the Mets their first ounce of legitimacy. He completed second to Willie McCovey within the 1969 MVP vote, falling 22 votes shy, the closest a Met has ever come to profitable an MVP plaque. 

The Mets’ trophy case is definitely liberally sprinkled with different notable items of {hardware}. Seaver, Dwight Gooden, R.A. Dickey and Jacob deGrom have mixed to win seven Cy Younger awards. 5 Mets have gained Rookie of the 12 months: Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (’72), Darryl Strawberry (’83), Dwight Gooden (’84) and deGrom (’14). 

However the fact is there was a dearth of MVP-level on a regular basis gamers via the years — the sort that often, although not at all times, win the MVP. Strawberry was in all probability the group’s different legit candidate moreover Seaver, proudly owning the form of talent units that win the MVP award, and by rights he ought to’ve gained in 1988 however he break up the Mets vote with Kevin McReynolds, and so one way or the other Kirk Gibson and his 76 RBIs snuck in. 

Generally you want good timing: Mike Piazza in 2000, Carlos Beltran in 2006 and David Wright in 2007 all had years that, in different years, might need carried the day and yielded the award. However not in these years. And so right here the Mets are, 60 years within the books, no MVPs. 

Can Alonso be the primary? If not this yr, in some unspecified time in the future? 

Effectively, he has the instruments. MVP voters nonetheless love gaudy slugger numbers and Alonso is able to that. And in his fourth full yr, he appears as comfy on the plate as he’s ever been. 

“I think I’ve learned so much my first few years,” he mentioned late in spring coaching. “I feel like my base of knowledge is greater and my comfort level at the plate is. And I think I’ve learned that you can have a productive day and not have to hit the ball over the wall.” 

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso celebrates after hitting a grand slam in a win over the Nationals on April 9.
USA TODAY Sports activities

Though, as has change into his newest catch phrase … 

“All homers,” he mentioned Wednesday, “are sick.” 

Sooner or later, you’ll suppose, likelihood takes over. Sooner or later, you’ll suppose, the Mets can have a participant who posts a 162-game marketing campaign for the ages. They’ve had loads of seasons like that out of their biggest pitchers; in some unspecified time in the future, you need to consider, certainly one of their hitters goes to channel ’69 Seaver or ’85 Gooden or ’18 deGrom. 

Can that be Alonso? Francisco Lindor? Can or not it’s Francisco Alvarez — tearing it up down on the farm, a 1.569 OPS already in Binghamton — in a few years? Sixty years and counting. That’s ridiculous. And preposterous. You might look it up … however, then, there’s nothing to lookup.

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