Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Like former Mets captain David Wright, Pete Alonso just seems to get it.
Alonso's confidence, genuine nature, passion, seemingly natural leadership, connection with the fans, charitable ways, and love for the Mets are all reminiscent of Wright -- who similarly burst onto the scene as a rookie and was a star right away.
Unlike Wright, whose rise happened before Twitter existed, Alonso has an immediate front-facing way to communicate with the fans. And his impassioned missives on social media and origination of the #LFGM rallying cry have further endeared him to Mets fans.
Due to all of the above, there are already calls to make Alonso the captain after only one season.
Speaking on the Metrospective Podcast with Pete McCarthy and Tim Britton, Wright talked about the potential of Alonso taking over the mantle from him when it comes to his standing in the clubhouse and community.
"It seems like he's got a big personality. It seems like he's genuine when he opens his mouth. It seems like he's gonna be able to back up what he did his rookie year for years to come," Wright said. "I think it starts with producing on the field, and he's certainly proven that he's the type of guy that you can build around -- slot him in the middle of the lineup and he'll be a run-producing machine.
"I get asked all the time, 'what does it take to be named captain' or 'what does it take to become a leader?' I think the answer is fairly easy, (it's) just be genuine, just be yourself. And if your teammates start looking at you in that regard, that's how you gain the respect of that clubhouse."
As far as what it takes to get to that point, Wright explained that a lot of it has to do with leading by example.
"It isn't going around and being the loudest guy or being the biggest talker or anything like that," Wright said. "It's just being genuine. ... the guys that I looked up to as a rookie or my first couple of years were guys that led by example. Put the work in behind the scenes. If something needed to be said, pulling them aside -- not in front of the cameras and the media. And dealing with your business that way. So those were the types of guys that I followed when I was a younger player and that's the type of leader that I wanted to be.
"I was gonna go out there and play the game hard, play the game the right way, prepare correctly, and hopefully guys followed that."
With Wright not becoming captain until later in his career, he was asked whether it's something that can be thrust on a player just two years in -- and whether he would've wanted that responsibility so soon.
Noting that it's his opinion and has nothing to do with Alonso, Wright said he's glad it took him 8 1/2 years to get the captaincy.
"When you're a young player, you've got guys that have -- at least for me -- there were Hall-of-Famers on that team, there were perennial All-Stars. Rarely did I hold team meetings or anything, but when you have something to say, you want it to be impactful, you want it to be meaningful," Wright explained. "And I'm not sure how Mike Piazza would've taken it or Johnny Franco or Tom Glavine or Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado -- these veteran-type guys -- how they would've taken it if some 22, 23, 24-year-old kid is telling them what they need to do to play better baseball.
"There still is obviously some seniority in the game, which I think it should be. But being around this team, seeing the respect that it seems like Pete commands from guys that are his age, maybe a little older, maybe a little younger. It seems to have a tight-knit nucleus. And it seems they all get along, they all respect each other. And they're all pulling the rope on the same side, which obviously makes it a lot easier when you're trying to be a leader or do the right things."
Unlike the veteran-filled teams Wright was a part of early in his career, Alonso is part of a group of mostly younger players. Even some of the most-tenured ones -- like Michael Conforto -- are still in their 20s.
What that means for Alonso's chances of being named captain soon or down the line is unclear. But his similarities to Wright both on and off the field are impossible to ignore.