Considered a breakout prospect in the Mets organization, first baseman Peter Alonso shared some advice he received from Hall of Famer Mike Piazza.
"One thing that kind of stuck with me that he said is, 'Once you get up there, it's going to be hard because you're playing against guys that you've been watching forever -- since you were a kid -- or even some other young superstars in the game you've seen on TV and stuff like that," Alonso recalled. " 'But the one thing that you have to keep in mind is that once you believe that you can compete and once you feel like you belong, that's when you're really going to become successful.' "
The 23-year-old Alonso, whom the Mets drafted in the second round two years ago, has tore up Double-A pitching this season, recording a .344/.465/.656 batting line with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs in 47 games with Binghamton entering Sunday.
But his numbers are only part of his potential. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Alonso has grown significantly at the plate and on defense in his second full professional season, and Mets Director of Minor League Player Development Ian Levin recently said Alonso has "elite raw power."
"This is a guy who has a real quiet approach," Binghamton manager Luis Rojas said, according to the New York Post's Ethan Sears. "Not a lot of moving parts. Ready early, see the ball and hit it. Doesn't overthink, doesn't try to pick. He's very secure with himself. He has a really strong hitting mentality."
Earlier in May, he wrote an editorial for The Sporting News talking about the transition from the University of Florida to the minors.
"Now that I'm here, there are so many guys with me who I played with in high school and college. It's funny how small the baseball world truly is," he wrote. "It's the same game, similar and familiar people, but the mentality has changed. Now it's a "gladiator mentality." Believe it or not, baseball players and ancient Roman gladiators aren't so different. Bats are our swords used to go on offense. Gloves are our shields, used for defense. We both wear helmets. Also, we have our own version of armor: elbow, foot, leg, and face guards. ... I am going to win the day. When the days add up, I will look up and be at my Rome -- Citi Field."