Pete Alonso doesn't lack confidence when he steps in the batter's box. At least, he hasn't shown any signs of it this Spring Training.
But the knock on Alonso throughout his career in the Minor Leagues is that he struggles defensively. The first baseman has worked hard to erase the stigma, however, and simply play the position better. And he's feeling pretty good about his defensive game as the 2019 season beckons.
"I'm extremely confident," he told reporters Sunday after the Mets' 10-6 loss to the Nationals. "I mean, I feel like I've done a 180 from 2017 to now, because that was my dark year, so to speak, defensively."
That year was the 2016 second-round Draft pick's first full season in the Minors, and he made 19 errors over 83 games. But he committed nine errors in 110 games last season (.990 shooting percentage), a marked improvement.
"I felt like last year I had a pretty solid year and I feel like this year I'm composing myself to have an even better year and build off of last year, so that improvements are happening," he said.
Alonso also gave thanks to the Mets coaching staff for preparing him to play the position at a Major League level.
"I'm really happy with myself and I'm really happy that I have such an amazing coaching staff to give me the reps, give me the time, to help me get better," he said. "If there's no one there to facilitate me getting better, then I'm not going to get better, so it's much appreciated on my end."