Pete Alonso Wrong About His Defense But . . .
With the universal DH thankfully not returning in 2021, Pete Alonso seems poised to once again be the New York Mets everyday first baseman. That is music to Alonso’s ears:
"I will never think of myself as a DH. I will always think of myself as a first baseman"
– Pete Alonso talks about being a DH last season and why he will always consider himself a first baseman pic.twitter.com/BgwKZvXLjS
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 26, 2021
When talking about the season, Alonso reiterated he doesn’t want to be a one dimensional player. He spoke about the want to play first. He also called himself a “really good first baseman.”
The problem is Alonso isn’t. In actuality, he’s quite bad there. Sadly, with his -7 DRS since his MLB debut, he’s the second worst defensive first baseman in the game.
As a result, he’s ideally DH thereby allowing Dominic Smith to play first. Smith is good there, and it would get him out of left. Really, in many ways, Alonso talks about his defense like he’s Smith.
As noted, he’s not, and he’s not really close. That said he’s come a REALLY long way.
As a prospect, there was legitimate doubt over whether Alonso could play the position at the Major League level. Alonso has put in the work, and he’s made himself extraordinarily better than he was.
Especially given his bat, you can play him at first. There’s more than that. Notably, Alonso does a good job picking throws out of the dirt. That’s far easier said than done, and it’s a real plus at the position.
This is all part of Alonso having tremendous work ethic and the right mindset. He believes in himself, and a large part of that is he believes in putting in the work. And there have been real and tangible results.
Alonso has a lot of pride as a baseball player. He tirelessly works to improve, and he has continued to improve. While Alonso is not a good first baseman, he’s leaps and bounds better than he used to be. That’s evidence that he will continue to improve, perhaps significantly.
So no, Alonso is not good at first. However, no one should discount his getting there. After all, he’s doing all he can to one day become really good there.