There’s no way around it — the Mets’ offense is the best version of itself when first baseman Pete Alonso is firing on all cylinders. Outside of a slow start through the first few games of 2023, he’s been red-hot at the plate.
Entering Tuesday’s series opener against the Washington Nationals, Alonso is hitting .267/.347/.611 with 10 home runs and 23 RBI. That’s good for a .958 OPS and 161 wRC+, both of which would be new career-high marks if he can sustain that production through the end of September.
Only Max Muncy (11) has more homers than him, and Alonso’s 10 dingers currently match the entire Nationals squad. If we take all of them away from the Mets’ total, New York would be tied with the Detroit Tigers for the fourth-lowest number of homers in baseball.
So, yea — Pete Alonso is one of the centerpieces of the offense, and probably the biggest one. But it’s not just that the Polar Bear hits lots of homers. He also doesn’t get cheated very often. All 10 of Alonso’s dingers have come with an exit velocity of at least 104 mph, while only two have traveled less than 397 feet.
Most of the time, when Alonso launches a ball toward the seats, he’s reasonably certain he’ll be able to enjoy a trot around the bases. We’re in the “Let the kids play” era of Major League Baseball, so home run celebrations, admiring one’s work, and putting some swag on their journey around the bases have become much more accepted than in recent years.
Alonso doesn’t necessarily do anything huge when it comes to his own celebration. But it is quite clear — especially when he hits a no-doubter. The right-handed slugger likes to grab the barrel of his bat while walking out of the box before flipping it as he trots down to first base.
Here’s a good look at it thanks to this alternative angle from the Mets’ Twitter account:
No. 🔟 pic.twitter.com/uNNxFlNDTL
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 22, 2023
I remember seeing this at least a few times in 2022, but it feels like it’s more prevalent so far this season. Now, you might be wondering, “How many times could he have possibly done this in 2023?” I’m glad you asked. I did the work so you don’t have to.
Of the 10 homers he’s slugged so far, it looks like he’s done it on seven of them. Enjoy this quick rundown.
Home Run No. 2
The Polar Bear ties it up in Milwaukee. 💪 pic.twitter.com/USxZIas9FU
— MLB (@MLB) April 5, 2023
We don’t get outright confirmation that it happens on this homer. However, we can see that right hand from Pete Alonso coming off the bat and seemingly moving toward the barrel. Since this ball traveled 397 feet, he was probably pretty sure the contact he made would lead to a home run.
Home Run No. 5
FOUR HOMERS IN THREE GAMES FOR PETE ALONSO!!! pic.twitter.com/PIlAhjBGAH
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2023
This one was a no-doubter that traveled 405 feet at Citi Field. Heck, it even would’ve cleared the original “Great Wall of Flushing” if it was still there.
Home Run No. 6
POLAR POWER 🐻❄️
Pete Alonso's 6th home run of the year gives the Mets the lead! pic.twitter.com/Sb9jnz94nS
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 12, 2023
Hitting tanks is infinitely cooler when you’re wearing shades, right? This is Alonso’s longest homer of 2023 so far, as it traveled 431 feet.
Home Run No. 7
PETE ALONSO HITS HIS 7TH OF THE YEAR!!! pic.twitter.com/rseiHz8Exg
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 15, 2023
The camera cuts away before we could see it happen, but there’s no way he didn’t do it here. That bad boy traveled 421 feet.
Home Run No. 8
Pete Alonso's league leading 8th home run ties this game in the 9th! pic.twitter.com/YLylrexXB7
— Shea Station (@shea_station) April 16, 2023
There’s just something about Oakland that brings out the premier power in Alonso. I bet he’ll miss the Coliseum whenever the Athletics move to Las Vegas.
Home Run No. 9
It's outta here!
Pete Alonso's 9th homer of the year gives the Mets a 2-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/20sxZ26za4
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 21, 2023
This homer only went 366 feet and looked to just barely clear the fence. So, I was a little surprised to see the bat flip celebration used here. But hey, when you’re a slugger and you get all of one, you usually know when it’s sailing over the wall.
Home Run No. 10
Pete Alonso has broken the Mets' record for home runs before May. That's 10 in 21 games for Alonso.
TEN IN 21 GAMES.
Mets 4, Giants 0, top five. pic.twitter.com/Rnsjdwtd9h
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 22, 2023
This is the regular angle of Alonso’s 10th homer. He went dead central but still had plenty of room to spare with this 415-foot tank.
So there you have it, folks. Alonso has his own patented home run celebration after he annihilates a baseball. It’s subtle, but it’s still a good one. Keep your eyes peeled the next time he goes yard.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.