Name: Peter Alonso
Born: Tampa, Florida
Age: 21 (12/7/94)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/225 lbs
School: University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
With their third pick in the 2016 draft, the Mets selected Peter Alonso, a right-handed first baseman from Tampa, Florida. Undrafted out of high school despite being ranked favorably among prep third basemen in both his state and nationally, Alonso attended the University of Florida. Over his three years there, Alonso became one of the preeminent power threats in the NCAA.
Power is Alonso's calling card, and he has that in spades. The first baseman has plus raw power, and he is able to manifest that during both batting practice and in-game situations. He generates it using his natural strength and plus bat speed. His swing path generates loft, and he gets good arm extension, but it sometimes causes him to overstride to compensate if he is unable to catch up to velocity. A change in his batting stance—opening up more at the plate to use his hips and legs more effectively—has also helped the first baseman tap into his power better.
When Alonso makes contact, it is almost always hard contact. His home runs are very rarely wall-scrapers. In 2015, he hit the very first home runs over the center field wall at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha during the 2015 College World Series. His power was mostly to his pull side, but the right-hander has begun to hit to all fields, spraying line line drives all over the diamond.
A .310 hitter over the course of his college career, the first baseman is unlikely to maintain that high an average in the years to come. Alonso is far from one-dimensional at the plate, and has shown enough patience in his at-bats to suggest that he can compensate for his batting average with walks. Intentionally or unintentionally, the 21-year-old has also shown himself to be something of a ball magnet. While this certainly has its drawbacks—as broken bones and missed playing time can attest to—it, too, can augment his batting average.
A right-handed first baseman, Alonso is an adequate defensive player, but he will always be primarily an offense-first player. He is not and will likely never be a plus defender at the position, but he's agile enough to not be a complete liability. He is not athletic enough to play any other position but first base for an extended period of time. In an emergency, he may be able to handle third base—the position he played as a high school player—for short stints, but it is unlikely that he will be able to play the position proficiently for anything approaching a full season.