NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 25: Pete Alonso of the New York Mets speaks after receiving his 2019 National League Rookie Of The Year Award during the 97th annual New York Baseball Writers' Dinner on January 25, 2020 Sheraton New York in New York City.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The cover of the ESPN Deportes Magazine February edition features none other than New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso.

This time last year, not many people really knew who Pete Alonso was. The first baseman had yet to play a game in the majors, as he was preparing for the 2019 spring training campaign.

But now, he’s a star in baseball. Not only was he selected to the All-Star Game in his rookie year, but the New York Mets slugger won the Home Run Derby, led the MLB with 53 home runs, and was the National League Rookie of the Year.

He’s since been recognized for his efforts in numerous ways. This includes — most recently — being selected for the cover of ESPN Deportes Magazine’s February edition.

Alonso’s 53 bombs broke the single-season record for rookies. New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge set the previous record of 52 in 2017.

To go along with that memorable statistic, Alonso drove in 120 runners from the batter’s box and recorded a slash line of .260/.358/.583. He was arguably the ballclub’s top offensive player and looks to continue his dominance in year No. 2.

Alonso — nicknamed the “Polar Bear” — and the Mets are coming off a 2019 campaign in which they weren’t eliminated from playoff contention until the final week of the regular season. They finished 86-76, which is impressive considering they were 11 games under-.500 at one point in July.

New York will begin their spring training schedule on Saturday, Feb. 22 with split-squad games. One squad will take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET while the other will face the Miami Marlins at 1:10 p.m. ET.

The ballclub’s regular-season slate begins on March 26 when they go up against the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.