With his pair of homers on Sunday, Pete Alonso drew to within three home runs of the major league-lead of 44, shared by Shohei Ohtani of the Angels and Matt Olson of Atlanta.
“I don’t know if he’ll get there,” one AL scout said Monday of Alonso’s chances of the second home run title of his five-year career. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. And if he hadn’t gotten hurt, forget it.”
Alonso spent 10 days on the injured list in June after suffering a bone bruise and sprain in his left wrist.
He was expected to miss up to a month — and at least three weeks — but returned after just 10 days.
Since his return, he has an OPS of .835, not much of a drop-off from the .872 OPS he compiled before the injury.
“He’s proven something this year,” the scout said.
Alonso’s future with the Mets is unclear with his impending free agency following next season, but he’s made it known he wants to stay in Queens and Francisco Lindor — who is signed with the Mets through 2031 — said, when asked if he expected the team to get a deal done with Alonso, “I would hope so.”
This season has been an interesting one for Alonso, who is on pace to finish with the lowest batting average of his career (.225), but continues to put up historically good power numbers.
Not only has he hit 40 home runs for the third time in his career — and it likely would have been four if the 2020 season wasn’t cut short by COVID — but he’s made changes at the plate that some scouts believe will make him a better hitter going forward.
“He’s a lot more selective than he used to be,” the scout said. “If he keeps that up, he’ll continue to be dangerous and I think his average will go back up.”
To that point, according to Fangraphs, Alonso has been a bit unlucky this season, with an expected batting average of .252, which would be more in line with his career mark of .254.
Also, according to Fangraphs, Alonso is swinging at fewer pitches both inside and outside the strike zone than ever before.
Alonso is hitting more fly balls (46.4 percent this season compared to 43.6 for his career), so his home run total is expected to stay high for the foreseeable future.
His home run rate of 7.5 percent is the highest it’s been since his rookie year (7.7 percent).
But, as has been the case in all but one year of Alonso’s career — 2022 — he’ll almost certainly miss the postseason.
𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆: nypost.com
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁 firstname.lastname@example.org