He’s done it.
New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has hit his 53rd home run of the season, passing New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge to gain sole possession of first place on the leaderboard for most home runs by a rookie.
❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️— New York Mets (@Mets) September 29, 2019
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❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ pic.twitter.com/v7gUjhzDNQ
Alonso opened the season with the Mets and has missed just one game. Tonight’s contest marks Alonso’s 160th of the season. Entering tonight, Alonso had a slash line of .260/.359/.582 with 119 runs knocked in on 153 hits, including what was then 52 home runs, with 72 walks and 180 strikeouts.
While Alonso’s batting average isn’t extremely high and his strikeout total certainly isn’t low, more home runs for more strikeouts is a fair trade.
In Aaron Judge’s rookie season, when he set the rookie home run record after going yard 52 times, he finished the year slashing an impressive .284/.422/.627 with 114 runs plated on 154 hits. He led the American League that season with 128 runs scored and 127 walks. However, his 208 strikeouts was the most in all of baseball. Despite this, he was an All-Star that season and won the Rookie of the Year award while finishing second in MVP voting. This accurately reflects the case being made with Alonso: taking a few extra strikeouts is okay if it means getting a few extra home runs.
This season, Alonso has been responsible for 4.8 fWAR, while Judge had an 8.3 fWAR in his rookie campaign. Judge’s offensive fWAR (61.7) was far greater than Alonso’s (36.8). They both had defensive fWAR scores in the negative, but Judge’s (-1.3) was better than Alonso’s (-9.6).
So while Alonso likely won’t finish in the top three or five in the MVP race like Judge did back in his rookie season, Alonso is still due to be dubbed National League Rookie of the Year, and he’s officially topped the rookie home run record set by that other New York slugger a few years ago.
The Pete Alonso show is just getting started, and it likely isn’t slowing down anytime soon.