Reese Kaplan -- So Which One Do You Call Batman?


Last season was the swan song for the Las Vegas 51s as the AAA franchise of the New York Mets.  I had enjoyed their visits here to El Paso as it gave me a chance to meet and often interview the players who someday might make an impact on the big club.  For every big prospect, there were the Gavin Cecchinis and Matt den Dekkers and others of that ilk who never quite were able to make that next step.

Last season I was ecstatic when I got the chance to have some one-on-one time with Dom Smith and I accurately predicted his promotion the following week to the big leagues due to injuries and his status on the 40-man roster.  He didn’t believe me, but it happened.

However, the biggest thrill for me came in the form of uber-prospect Pete Alonso who did not get a ball out of the infield in a four-game series against the El Paso Chihuahuas.  I was surely thinking this can’t be the guy everyone was raving about in AA.  My highlight for him was his defensive prowess which everyone had said was his Achilles Heel.  When I did get one-on-one outside the clubhouse he was polite, humble and funny (taking jabs at his buddy Jeff McNeil who got the call to the Show before he did). 

The dynamic duo of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil are obviously performing at elite levels.  However, some may not be aware just how well they’re doing in terms of the Mets’ 57-year history. 

Already Pete Alonso has shattered not only the Mets single season rookie home run record of 26 set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983, but he’s also smashed Cody Bellinger’s rookie record of 39 HRs set in 2017.  Right now his next goal is to get to 42 to beat the all-time single season home run record of 41 set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and tied by Carlos Beltran in 2006.  He's on a pace for 52 which would tie him with Aaron Judge of the Yankees who set the AL rookie mark with that same number in 2017.

On the RBI front, currently Alonso has 95 and is on a pace to drive in approximately 125 runs if his 2019 rate holds true.  The Mets all-time RBI record is 124 first set by Mike Piazza in 1999 and then tied by David Wright in 2006. 

Slugging percentage is also a record in play for Alonso.  His current mark is .604 which falls a bit shy of Mike Piazza’s .614 delivered in 2000. 

Speaking of Piazza, he delivered a remarkable OPS of 1.024 in that same year of 2000.  Right now Alonso is hitting a respectable but lower 979. 

Shifting gears to Jeff McNeil, the target he’s chasing is arguably the best offensive first baseman in team history, John Olerud.  He doesn’t get quite the accolades of Keith Hernandez or Carlos Delgado given his relatively short Mets tenure, but in 1998 he hit a robust .354. 

Jeff needs to get healthy and back to swinging his hot bat.  As of today, he’s hitting .332 and has 15 HRs.  During Olerud’s big season he delivered 22 HRs. He probably won't reach Olerud's 93 RBIs, but the other two marks are certainly within the realm of possibility.  


Mack Ade said...

I love both, ad especially love McNeil and the kind of player he has become, but you have to give Batman to Pete.

He drives the batmobile.

Tom Brennan said...

Batman and Robin - glad they're ours.

And Davis.

And Rosario.

And Conforto.

We are stacked with young studs.

Anyone remember that Donn Clendenon had 97 RBIs in 396 at bats for the 1970 Mets? That was something too. Pete's gotten his in 451 at bats (which still is stunningly good).

Tom Brennan said...

One thing I love about Alonso is his fire to get better - he may very well get BETTER than he is now.

Yelich is so much better now than he was in his first few years - why can't Pete get BETTER?

Reese Kaplan said...

Health, for one thing. Aaron Judge has had to fight to stay on the field.

Mack Ade said...

The bottom line is:

1. we will have McNeil, Nimmo, and Lowrie back before the Sept 1 date

2. J.D. Davis has become a core player

3. Joe Panik has been a slam dunk pickup

4. Luis Avilan forgot how to give up runs.

We are really shaping into a playoff team.

We have 2 more games vs. Cleveland and 3 vs. the Braves. I want to split the Indians games and win two of from our division leader.

bill metsiac said...

Yes, Mack, while everyone else is adding minor leaguers in Sept, we are adding valuable proven players.

And is it time to take a fresh look at Brodie? It's been fashionable among Mets fans to bash him, based on early results, especially in the Diaz/Cano deal and Familia re-signing.

But Jeurys is looking more like his old self, Diaz may be doing the same, and we have JDD, Ramos, Wilson, Avilan, and now Panik and Brach.

And it was Brodie's decision, when he was expected to save $$$ 5 years down the road by keeping Pete upstate on OD, to do the unexpected and keep him up. With Smith coming off a fine ST, it would've been justified to give him the OD job. Is anyone here sorry he didn't?

Then, when we were really struggling 3 weeks ago, and folks were "sure" that we'd be sellers, he again did the opposite and bought one of the most sought-after SPs around while turning down deals that would've cost us Wheeler and/or Thor.

Is he still "in over his head" and "incompetent"? Or does hr deserve credit for our being in the P-S hunt?

Met monkey said...

If Cano stays hurt most of his insured contract, so we may play field all our young studs, then BMW has steered us through sterling! Gotta love JD!

Mack Ade said...


I do not participate on Twitter anymore but I still read it all the time.

Both the Brodie and Mickey bashing have all but disappered lately, except when Callaway makes a dunce pitching change.

bill metsiac said...

I don't participate (or read much) on Twitter, either, but I do read on other Mets fan sites. Although the bashing has receded, I still don't see credit given anywhere.

As for Mickey, he's made mistakes that come from inexperience, but he hasn't allowed his team to mail it in through the very dark times. As with Brodie, if he got the blame for the failures, he deserves credit for the good.

If we get to the P-S, especially deep into it, IMO he's definitely a MOTY candidate.

For both of them, it's time for credit.

It's due.

Eddie Corona said...

how does the insurance work on the lowrie contract? how much did the mets get back for him missing so much time

Tom Brennan said...

Eddie, my guess is 75% after a waiting period (not sure what) until he actually plays in the majors again.

Tom Brennan said...

Social media can sometimes be a real trip. I occasionally post to a Facebook Mets site, not articles, just thoughts - some negative when the team went thru its (decidedly negative) 31-46 stretch this year.

Every time I post something now, this guy shows up with a variety of digs. Can't help himself. I'm a hypocrite. After being nice, and getting crap back several times, I told him today that I would never respond again to another one of his comments. Mack would enjoy knowing that per this oracle, I (often considered the cheerleader writer of this blog) am way too negative, and often way off base. The anonymity of the social media can bring out the losers who also double as morons.

bill metsiac said...

I'm not a writer here, but I'll be happy to challenge you for the title of "#1 cheerleader".👏👏👏

I'm religiously faithful to the Gospel of Saint Tug. YGB!!

Mack Ade said...


I have learned in the past that one can invite this shit upon yourself if you partipate on these toxic children sites.

My suggestion...

Watch Twitter instead.

Tom Brennan said...

Mack, I think you are write. Mental midgets abound in the social media-sphere.

Bill, you are a Metsiac, for sure.

Tony said...

Davis & Rosario have also made an impact.

Mack's Mets © 2012