First baseman Pete Alonso is a powerful man. He knows how to hit home runs, and he can do it in bunches. His 146 dingers since debuting in 2019 are the most in baseball. He’s already made his way toward the top of multiple home-run-related Mets leaderboards, and it won’t stop any time soon (we hope, at least).
It’s not just the cumulative number of dingers that’s impressive for Alonso. What he’s accomplished on a yearly basis has been just as impressive. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season limited him to just 16 after hitting an MLB rookie record 53 in 2019. He then got back on track with 37 in 2021 and another 40 in 2022.
He’s currently the only hitter in Mets history with multiple seasons of 40-plus homers and 120-plus RBI on his stat sheet. If he performs close to what various projections systems expect, he’ll be flirting with those numbers again in 2023. But still, three seasons of 35-plus homers in your first four big-league seasons is quite the accomplishment.
If he does it one more time, he’ll punch a ticket into a very exclusive club:
Pete Alonso has hit 35+ home runs in three of his four major league seasons.
Only three players have hit 35+ homers in four of their first five big league seasons:
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) February 24, 2023
You know you’re doing something right when you’re touching shoulders with guys like Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews, and Albert Pujols. Let’s go to the videotape to see their respective home run totals during the time period in question.
- 1946: 23
- 1947: 51
- 1948: 40
- 1949: 54
- 1950: 47
- 1952: 25
- 1953: 47
- 1954: 40
- 1955: 41
- 1956: 37
- 2001: 37
- 2002: 34
- 2003: 43
- 2004: 46
- 2005: 41
Kiner separates himself from the pack because of the multiple 50-homer performances. He also led the league in homers during each of his first five big-league seasons. That’s the recipe for getting enshrined in Cooperstown despite just a 10-year MLB career.
We can also see here that Kiner, Mathews, and Pujols each produced at least three years with 40-plus dingers. Alonso doesn’t need to hit 40 again to join this club, but it sure would be cool if he did. It’s also worth noting that among these three, none appeared in fewer than 138 games each season. Alonso was limited to 57 in 2020 because there was no other choice.
Steamer and ZiPS projections are both tabbing Pete Alonso for another 38 homers in 2023. So far, the first baseman has proven that as long as he’s healthy and playing every day, he’s racking up homers. We’ll see if that trend stays true this season.