While traveling to his first general managers' meetings in California last month, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen made a pit stop in Scottsdale, Arizona, to have dinner with one of his top prospects.
And apparently it was a meeting Peter Alonso will not soon forget.
Alonso, the 23-year-old first baseman and Arizona Fall League All-Star, said he was impressed by Van Wagenen's effort in seeing him so early in the GM's tenure.
"The fact that [Van Wagenen] reached out and just wanted to talk with me and have dinner, it meant a lot personally," Alonso told the New York Post on Tuesday. "I just thought it was a real classy thing to do and that speaks volumes."
Alonso excited the Mets with his power in the minors this past season, belting 36 home runs in 132 games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
But Alonso's defense remains his main project, which is partly why the Mets decided against calling him up to the majors in September.
With Van Wagenen in attendance in Arizona, Alonso sent a 103 mph fastball over the fence. However, the infielder told the Post that it was his glove that spoke louder than his bat.
"The best part about that was I made a couple of really good defensive plays in that game," he said. "I was really stoked about that."
Van Wagenen spoke about his meeting with Alonso earlier this month, saying the youngster is an important piece to the franchise who could be an "impact player."
"I wanted to be able to show him the respect and give him the understanding that he's a priority to this organization, he's a priority to me," Van Wagenen said. "And I want to make sure he knows that he has the full support of the organization as he goes forward."
Van Wagenen also revealed Alonso will have a chance to win the Mets' first base job out of spring training.
However, the GM could take the prudent route, which would be keeping Alonso in the minors for roughly the first two weeks of the season to prevent him from gaining Super Two status and guarantee an extra year of team control.
Despite continuing to flaunt his power in the AFL, Alonso has cooled off with the Scottsdale Scorpions. After 26 games, he's hitting .226 with five homers and 21 RBI and a .759 OPS.