It has already been an amazing season for rookie hitters but while we continue to marvel at how Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits baseballs so hard, at the immediate power of Austin Riley and at the statistical versatility and upside of Fernando Tatis Jr., one player stands out the most. New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso reached base six times in Atlanta on Tuesday and is hitting .274 with a pace for 53 home runs and 126 runs batted in. The Mets might be a mess, but their No. 2 hitter in the lineup shows no signs of decline and is already a top-10 option at his loaded position.
I compared Alonso to the more-established Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins back in April and most laughed it off, but I think it makes sense. Hoskins leads the National League in walks but Alonso has outslugged him by 100 points. We regard Hoskins as a top-50 overall selection. Alonso deserves similar treatment, at least, and not even half a season into his career. I think we knew the power would translate to some degree but it seems ridiculous now that so many of us waited until the later rounds to pick Alonso because the Mets would not guaranteed the playing time. OK, so that is the Mets being the Mets and, in fairness, Dominic Smith has impressed as well. Alonso has been awesome.