mets pete alonso home run derby
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The Mets will have just one player represent them at the All-Star Game next week in Seattle: first baseman Pete Alonso. It’s his third career selection since debuting in 2019. But with this news, all of us were wondering the same thing: does it mean he’ll do the Home Run Derby again?

Hours after MLB released the complete All-Star Game rosters, Alonso made his announcement. He did it in an unusual fashion, too. The slugger confirmed he’d be joining the competition while chatting with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth during the Mets-Giants series finale:

Despite spending time on the injured list, Alonso’s 25 home runs are among the league leaders in 2023 as we approach the All-Star break. However, anyone who has watched the first baseman play recently knows he’s in the midst of a funk. This Jolly Olive tweet is a few days old now, but it accurately portrays how times have been tough for Alonso following a fast start:

After an 0-for-4 performance on June 30th, he followed that up with another hitless night on July 1st. But after announcing he’s back in the Derby, Alonso registered two hits on Sunday night, an excuse-me double down the first-base line and this home run:

So, just knowing that he’ll be participating in his favorite event again has seemingly gotten his bat going. The power numbers are still there for Alonso through one half of play (25 homers, 58 RBI), but his triple slash is down at .221/.316/.521 on the year. It’s led to a 130 wRC+ and a .835 OPS, which are more than respectable. However, you can see the frustration on his face in recent games. The bat he recently snapped over his thigh can also serve as proof.

There’s been a longstanding myth that the Home Run Derby messes up the swings of those who participate. That school of thought has been debunked in recent years.

After being an All-Star and winning the Derby as a rookie in 2019, he was invited back to defend his title in 2021 despite not being named to the NL All-Star team. Alonso went on to make the most of his trip by capturing his second straight title. It also helped him catch fire at the plate during the second half of that year.

Prior to the 2021 All-Star break, Alonso was hitting .249/.326/.477 with 17 home runs and 49 RBI. That production led to a 118 wRC+ and a .802 OPS. After winning the Derby, his numbers jumped up to .275/.361/.560 with 20 homers and 45 RBI. They were accompanied by a 147 wRC+ and .947 OPS.

Maybe the Home Run Derby will realign Pete Alonso and set him up for a big second half. Heck, merely announcing he’d do it brought him two extra-base hits. The last time he did that in a game this year was on May 28th at Coors Field.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.