It didn't end the way we hoped, but the Mets' 2019 was nevertheless a year to remember...
MVP and Rookie of the Year
It can be argued that Jacob deGrom is the MVP. However, Alonso's impact was undeniable.
From his power to his ability to generate headlines, winning the Home Run Derby, breaking all sorts of MLB rookie records and essentially taking New York City by storm while inspiring his teammates throughout the year, he is easily their MVP (and Rookie of the Year) for 2019.
In less than seven months, Alonso went from a top prospect with no big-league experience to the cornerstone and future of the entire franchise and the heir apparent to David Wright.
Sandy Alderson and his staff deserve some of the credit for Alonso's new role. They refused public pressure to debut Alonso late last season, most likely just to delay when he becomes a free agent.
Alonso's agent may not have been happy, but at the time Pete said he understood the decision.
In the months ahead, before the start of spring training, Brodie Van Wagenen wisely made multiple trips to meet with Alonso, have dinner and learn about the young man's attitude and focus, while preparing him to be the team's starting first baseman in 2019.
It's hard to know for certain the impact of how Alderson and Van Wagenen handled their respective situations. However, it certainly didn't hurt the young first baseman's development and rise to stardom.
In the end, Alonso broke the league's all-time rookie record by hitting 53 home runs, some of which were the hardest hit balls and the fastest to leave the ballpark in history. He coined a new hashtag, #LFGM, inspired a new walk-off celebration, made countless statements about his love for the organization's fans and team's potential to one day win a World Series and, in a few months, he will hoist a Rookie of the Year trophy.
For me, though, while all of the above is amazing, I'm most excited for his future knowing this...
He crushed on the road and at a home.
He crushed in the first half of the year and after the break.
He reached base against righties at roughly the same rate he did against lefties.
He hit one-third of his home runs after being down in the count.
And -- maybe most important of all -- after looking tired and hitting just .157 with four home runs from mid-July to mid-August -- he took a breath, made adjustments and bounced back to finish strong by hitting 18 home runs with a .364 OBP and .578 slugging percentage during his final 49 games.
The kid is not a one-year wonder. He's a legit, powerful, well-rounded hitter with the focus, desire and determination to be great, win a World Series and have a ton of fun doing it. #LFGM
Pitcher of the Year
DeGrom, obviously. I'm not sure what else there is to say that hasn't already been said about Jake, who will soon join Tom Seaver as the only pitcher in franchise history to win multiple Cy Young awards.
DeGrom is poised, brilliant, creative, super-competitive, the best pitcher in the NL and the most talented pitcher to wear a Mets uniform during the past 30 years. But, you already know this...
Comeback Player of the Year
Before Alonso, it was Rosario who was supposed to be the franchise's next great player. However, during the first 280 games of his career, he was hitting just .253 with 22 home runs and 44 doubles.
To make matters worse, his once-promising fielding became a liability early this past summer, leading to talk of him being moved to the outfield.
In response, as if simply flipping a switch, he caught fire and turned a corner defensively.
During his final 77 games of 2019, the still-just 23-year-old Rosario picked up 25 extra base hits, batted .324 and had a .356 OBP, all while playing terrific in the field at shortstop. What's more, during that final stretch of games, he struck out in just 14 percent of his plate appearances -- marking a significant improvement from what had been ailing him at the start of his career.
Defensive Player of the Year
To be an elite team and get to the postseason next year, this needs to change.
Game of the Year
Michael Conforto walk-off against Nationals (August 9)
Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, J.D. Davis smacked a leadoff double and Wilson Ramos singled up the middle. Todd Frazier followed with a game-tying, three-run home run that nearly hit the left-field foul pole and may end up being his biggest hit in a Mets uniform.
The game wasn't over yet, though.
Thankfully, with two outs, Rosario hit a seeing-eye single, after which Michael Conforto cracked a long line drive over the right fielder's head to win the game.
It was Conforto's first career walk-off hit.
The game will forever be remembered for how Alonso and his teammates ripped Conforto's jersey off and doused with him water and a Gatorade shower in front of second base. However, excitement was also in the air as the win was the team's 14th in 15 games and kept them moving up in the standings as they competed for the second Wild Card spot.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!