Pete Alonso Closer To 2020 Than 2019 Form
For some, Pete Alonso‘s 2020 season was some cause for concern. After all, his performance in the abbreviated 60 game season was a precipitous drop-off from his record setting 2019 rookie campaign.
In 2020, Alonso played 57 games. He hit .231/.326/.490 with six doubles, 16 homers, and 35 RBI. Prorated over 162 games, that’s 17 doubles, 45 doubles, and 99 RBI.
You’d take those power numbers, but it was a far cry from his 2019 season. In that season, he hit .260/.358/.583 with 30 doubles, two triples, 53 homers, and 120 RBI.
In 2019, Alonso was an All-Star. He had a 5.4 WAR and a 143 wRC+. In 2020, that dropped to a 0.1 WAR and a 118 wRC+. The wRC+ would be the same on a prorated basis, but his WAR over 162 games would’ve been roughly 0.3.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a steep drop-off. Still, it was a pandemic shortened and affected season. There was no need to overreact to it. That said, the disparity in performance meant Alonso may not be the player he was in 2019 in what was a juiced ball season.
The question for Alonso was whether he was closer to the 2019 or the 2020 player. This season should provide some answers to that.
Well, Alonso has played 58 games this season, just one more than last year. Through those games, he’s hitting .250/.333/.451 with eight doubles, 11 homers, and 35 RBI. That’s much closer to his 2020 season than his 2019.
In fact, Alonso has a 120 wRC+, which is a hair better than last year. It should be noted OPS+ paints a different picture with Alonso dropping from 121 to 119. Effectively speaking, Alonso is the same hitter he was last year.
Now, his WAR is much higher with it being 0.9 so far this year. That’s attributable to two things. First, he’s back to playing first instead of being a DH. Second, his first base defense is much improved.
However, when we look at Alonso, the focus is on the bat. Over 57 games the past two years, it’s just not there. Well, it’s there, but it’s just not at that level he set in 2019.
This isn’t a 57 or 58 game issue per se. Keep in mind, through his first 58 games as a rookie, he was hitting .263/.335/.606.
Another way to look at it is between this year and the last, Alonso has played 115 games. He’s hitting .240/.330/.471 with 14 doubles, 27 homers, and 70 RBI.
Prorated over 162 games, that’s 20 doubles, 39 homers, and 99 RBI with a 120 OPS+. That’s good, but it’s nowhere near what he showed his rookie year.
Now, there are factors this year including an injury and now a deadened ball. Those factors, much like the juiced ball of 2019, make it extraordinarily difficult to analyze and ascertain just what Alonso’s true talent level is.
The only thing we do know is Alonso is closer to what he was in 2020, and so far, we’re not seeing signs he’s nearing that 2019 form. Still, there’s a lot of season left where Alonso can once again show us the transcendent and hand changing hitter he can be.