New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is working on his defensive skills ahead of his sophomore campaign in the majors.
In an Instagram video released by Mets defensive coordinator Steven Negron, Alonso participates in several defensive drills.
In one drill, Alonso turns then quickly fields ground balls with limited reaction time. The footage also shows him fielding short hops from his knees, first with a glove and then barehanded.
The final video takes Alonso inside, where he fields balls thrown off a wall in front of him while attached to a coach with an elastic band.
Alonso’s defense last season received mixed reception. In 2018, the Mets’ decision not to call up Alonso for a September showcase was reported by Matt Ehalt of northjersey.com to be at least in part based on his defensive shortcomings.
But while Alonso was certainly not a Gold Glove contender last season, he was far from horrendous. According to Fangraphs, Alonso had -6 defensive runs saved at first, but a slightly above-average 1.8 ultimate zone rating.
Amidst the fallout of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal, Alonso is certainly doing his part to keep the focus on the field. As the baseball world went up in flames on Thursday, Alonso attempted to motivate fans for the upcoming season.
With 24 days before pitchers and catchers report, the Mets don’t have a manager, and baseball is erupting with a large scandal around them. But “the boys will be ready.” With Alonso there to lead them, that much is certain.