Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen... I present... your 2019 HOME RUN DERBY CHAMPION:
Pistol Fuckin Pete.
The Polar Bear.
The best hitter in New York. The Rookie. The All Star. The fuckin HOME RUN DERBY CHAMP.
This man is an American Hero! He deserves to be hoisted up on our shoulders.
Or at the very least be given a tribute piece from CSB.
PISTOL PETE THE POLAR BEAR ALONSO
Foreword: Early years Pete
Pete Alonso, who's grandfather Peter Conrad Alonso migrated from Barcelona to Queens during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, converted to play first at University of Florida after playing third base in high school in Tampa where he undoubtedly mashed. After being named first team All SEC as a freshman, he hit .374 with a 1.128 OPS as a junior en route to being upset as the 1 seed in consecutive one-run games against Coastal Carolina and Texas Tech in the 2016 CWS. He entered the draft after his junior season in 2016 and was selected in the 2nd round with the 64th overall pick by the New York Mets.
Pete hit .322 with 5 dingers and 21 rbis in 30 games in 2016 for Class A Brooklyn Cyclones and was selected to the All Star game. He started 2017 by hitting .286 with 16 homers and 58 RBI for the high-A St. Lucie Mets before being called up to the AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies where he hit .311 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 11 games. He was promoted to the AAA Las Vegas 51s during 2018 season where he hit .285 with 36 hrs and 119 RBIs in 132 games between Binghamton and Las Vegas.
But the real legend of Pete Alonso began on July 15, 2018...
Chapter 1: An American Hero
Pete (oft referred to as Peter at the time) was selected to represent the Mets in the 2018 All Futures game where he MASHED an unofficial 500 foot two-run bomb to left field to give the USA a 9-6 lead in the 7th. Swag city, population Pete.
Video of the mash: https://www.facebook.com/MLBNetwork/videos/futures-game-peter-alonsos-dinger/10155340105541695/
After rewatching the video I take back the 500 feet comment. That thing definitely still hasn't landed.
Then came chapter 2: For the Fans
In 2019, the Mets finally realized having a AAA team in Las Vegas made absolutely no sense and abandoned the 51s for a new AAA affiliate, the Syracuse Mets. This made 2018 the final season for the Las Vegas 51s and the final season of baseball at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, which is primarily used as a soccer stadium for the Las Vegas Lights FC.
The 51s trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with no one out and a runner on the third. Polar Bear Pete stepped to the plate in what everyone knew would be the final game, and likely the final inning at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Pete MASHED a no-doubter, 2-run, walk off homer to left for the victory. What a way to send Cashman and the 51s off. Thank you, Pete. And a little treat for the ladies at the end of the video.
Chapter 3 wasn't far behind.
Pete played in the 2018 Arizona Fall League playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions and was chosen to play in the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game (s/o to whoever named it the Fall Star Game).
Now, some people think the first record Pete broke was home runs by a Mets rookie (which he did in less than half a season). Some people think it was his 52 extra base hits, which is an MLB record for a rookie before the All Star break. Or maybe it was his 68 RBI, record for an NL rookie before the All Star break. Or maybe people don't think those are legitimate records and are waiting for him to break the Mets record for most home runs in a season, which is 41 and dead in Pete's sights with 3 months of baseball left, before they officially call him a "record breaker." All of these people dead fucking wrong.
It is recorded that the fastest pitch ever hit for a home run in the Statcast era (2015 or later) was hit by Rafael Devers on a 102.8 MPH fastball from Aroldis Chapman in 2017. Again, the people who point to this feat by Devers as a record, are deadfuckingwrong.
It is in fact the Pistol, Pete Alonso, who holds the title for home run off fastest recorded pitch and it came in the 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game. Blue Jays #4 Prospect Nate Pearson fired a 103 MPH fastball that Pete belted over the 400 foot sign in right center to crack open the scoring in the bottom of the first and give his team a 1-0 lead. He also walked twice and scored three times in the game, NBD.
(watching a 103 mph pitch leave his bat for a 405 foot HR)
Chapter 4: The world will know.
Pete started 2019 the same way he left 2018. By mashing dingers. At the All Star break on July 9, 2019, Pete has 30 home runs, 68 rbi, and is slashing .280/.372/.634 (1.006 OPS). He leads all rookies in games, at-bats, runs, hits, walks, doubles, home runs, rbi, and trails only Tatis Jr. in OPS by .006 points. He already owns a handful of Mets records and despite continuous critical reporting of his defensive prowess, he has made play after play in the field and looks smoother than John Olerud except without a helmet on.
The coolest part about Pete. He came into the Mets farm system three years after the Mets spent a first round pick (11th overall) on a first basemen out of high school, Dom Smith. Dom was the "future of first base" for the Mets and happened to be the same age as Pete. Dom was written about all the time for his stellar defense and ability to be a lifetime .300 hitter with 15 hrs a year at the major league level.
How did Pete respond to the general consensus that first base was occupied in the Mets organization? By hitting bombs and becoming his best friend.
(And credit to motherfuckin Dom Smith as well. All the credit in the world to Dom Smith. Had the weight of the world put on his shoulders by Mets fans, reporters, and I imagine management and has been as supportive as anyone of Pete's success this year, while also going out and getting clutch hits off the bench all season long, hitting .304 on the year in 77 games, and playing a multitude of positions. He's converted himself into a regular outfielder and taken incredible advantage of his opportunities this season)
And then came the Home Run Derby.
Clearly locked in from the get-go, Pete put on a display for the world. This may have been his official coming out party to the world of baseball fans outside of New York. Having hit 30 home runs on the season, Pete was the 2 seed in the tournament. The 7 seed he faced in the first round was hometown hero, Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana. Pete went second as the higher seed and walked off Santana with a 14-13 victory without needing to use his :30s bonus time for hitting two homers over 440 ft.
With Matt Champan eliminated by Vladdy Guerrero Jr. in the first round, Pete was the highest seed remaining which guaranteed him the option to go second for the rest of the night. In the second round Pete defeated a talented Ronald Acuna Jr. with another "walk-off", this time winning 20-19 and again not needing to use the :30s bonus time he earned for having two moonshots.
In the finals, Pete went up against crowd favorite and batting practice extraordinaire Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vladdy was hitting BOMBS all night. He beat Joc Pederson in the semifinals in TRIPLE overtime by a score of 39-38. Insanity. Pete was an underdog but when is he not. Vlad went first and was clearly tired out from his first two rounds of 29 and 39 homers, and he hit 22 in the finals. Pete came up and started hitting bombs because he's fucking the fucking Polar Bear and soon enough, as he had done all night, he crept up to the number he knew he needed to hit and hit his 23rd homer before the time expired, once again foregoing the 30 bonus seconds he earned.
And he hit them everywhere. Acuna impressed early with opposite field bombs, but a look at Pete's spray chart shows how truly amazing his power is. His effortless swings can put the ball out all over the park. Especially to centerfield where he particularly likes to hit 450 ft+ bombs. Pete could hit 40 dingers playing at the Polo grounds.
Who knows what the future holds for Pete Alonso. He's already done enough to go down in Mets history as one of the greatest. Mets fans know to be cautious about optimism, but let's hope not even the Mets can curse the Polar Bear for the sake of all of baseball. Because if there is one thing that we can all be god damn sure about, it's that...
PS - not sure where this fits in the legend of Pistol Pete but I'd be remiss to not mention the time he was nearly arrested for murder in Port St. Lucie.
Josh Reddick, stay off the tracks when the trains comin thru!!!! Choo Choo!!!!!
RIP Josh. Long Live Pete.