Mets’ Pete Alonso Not Bothered By Homerless Streak
Pete Alonso homered on the first pitch he saw in the Grapefruit League last year, which effectively served as an omen for his spring training and historic rookie season.
Two weeks into this exhibition season, the slugging Mets first baseman is among the position players in camp still trying to shed the offseason rust. After going 0-for-4 in a 3-2 loss to the Astros on Friday, Alonso is homerless in 31 at-bats over 10 games and batting just .194.
But you would have a better chance of spotting a snowman in the parking lot at Clover Park than a concerned Alonso at this early juncture.
“I have got to let the process kind of shake everything out,” Alonso said before catching a bus to West Palm Beach, where he played first base. “I have been barreling a lot of stuff up the past four or five games or so, so I can’t control if the ball goes out of the park. The only thing I can kind of control is hitting the ball right on the screws, and if I’m hitting the ball hard all over the yard, I have got no complaints here.
“Whenever it happens, it’s going to happen, because I have no doubt that I can. I am looking forward to being surprised when it does happen.”
Alonso set a major league rookie record with 53 homers last season. In the 2019 exhibition season, he homered four times, part of a convincing spring in which he forced his way onto the Opening Day roster. With his spot in the Mets’ lineup already secure this spring, Alonso’s emphasis isn’t so much on numbers as preparing for the season. But he also wants to ensure he’s building toward the regular season.
“It’s not that I don’t care,” Alonso said. “I want to be as ready as I possibly can for the season. I want to be going into the season as hot as I can. I want to be seeing the ball well, playing good defense. I want to be nice and ready — game shape.”
Alonso isn’t the Mets’ only slow starter this spring. Amed Rosario just got his first hit Friday in 17 at-bats and Dominic Smith is 3-for-20 (.150). On the flip side, Jeff McNeil is 10-for-18 (.556) and Brandon Nimmo is 8-for-20 (.400).
“[Alonso] is in a good place right now,” manager Luis Rojas said. “I like where his hands are. I like where he is starting his load. His rhythm is where it usually is. At the beginning of spring training he was just a little bit out of whack, he was getting ready late so he was rushing to the ball. There was a lot of things, I guess everyone goes through it. A lot of guys come in and they are locked in. [Wilson] Ramos was locked in when he came in, but Pete’s in a good place right now.”
Alonso’s contact in recent days has been solid. He hit a ball into the wind on Thursday in Jupiter that might have been a homer on another day. On Friday he was set to play in a fourth straight game, a rarity for starting players this early in the spring.
“The best way for me to get ready and my timing is to play,” Alonso said. “I want to be as ready as possible and the only way to get into game shape is play games.”