New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso was MLB’s home run king in 2020. That’s more than enough to land him on the cover of a video game.
The ❄️🐻 graces the cover of this year’s @HRDerbyGame! Crush baseballs and win the #HomeRunDerby like @Pete_Alonso20. Download for free on iOS and Android: https://t.co/tMDVuVUb2k pic.twitter.com/djtDkIYsQ5
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 27, 2020
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Alonso was the premier power hitter in 2019. He led the league in home runs with 53 and won the Home Run Derby in stunning fashion. Alonso was the first rookie in MLB history to outright win the home run crown.
Along the way, he stormed past numerous records. He broke the Mets all-time home run record, then the NL rookie home run record, and finally he set the MLB rookie record. There’s no player who more embodies the idea of a home run derby than Alonso.
He’ll have a ton to live up to in his second year. The Mets are relying on Alonso being an All-Star and elite power hitter again. Many players who put up elite rookie seasons like Alonso struggle in year two.
Cody Bellinger is the best example. Bellinger set the NL home run rookie record in 2017 on his way to a Rookie of the Year award. In year two, he saw a major dropoff. His slugging percentage fell from .581 to .470 and he hit 14 fewer home runs then he did in his rookie year.
His batting average and on-base percentage both dropped in year two as well. He was still a good player, but he wasn’t the elite player he showed in his rookie year.
Don’t be surprised if Alonso runs into a similar wall in 2020. It’s just the nature of the game as pitchers adjust to young hitters.