Pete Alonso became the sixth Met to win NL Rookie of the Year on Monday, and was just one vote shy of doing so unanimously.
Coincidentally, Jacob deGrom also got 29 out of 30 first place votes when he was named the Cy Young Award winner last season, when the San Diego Union Tribune's John Maffei voted for Max Scherzer over deGrom.
Maffei infamously was uninterested in discussing his decision, hanging up on WFAN's Steve Somers when the radio host attempted to find some kind of explanation for not voting for deGrom.
This year, it was The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly preventing Alonso from a unanimous selection, instead opting for Braves pitcher Mike Soroka. But rather than refusing to explain himself, Baggarly did the opposite, throwing himself at the mercy of Mets fans with a full explanation in print form.
"Hi, Mets fans. Please don't hate me for voting Mike Soroka over Pete Alonso for NL Rookie of the Year," reads the headline of the piece. Baggarly, having covered the San Francisco Giants beat for the past 15 seasons, seems to be aware he's not likely to make any new friends on the east coast.
Citing rising home run totals throughout baseball and a host of advanced metrics, Baggarly explained that, in his opinion, Soroka keeping opposing hitters in the ballpark was more noteworthy than Alonso blasting pitches out of them. The Braves pitcher outranked Alonso in Win Probability Added, Wins Above Average and bWAR.
"In other words … using the most respected current statistical measures that allow us to make the least dodgy comparison between a right-handed pitcher and a slugging first baseman, yes, you can make a clear case that Soroka's season was every bit as valuable if not more so than Alonso's.
As impressive as Alonso was, as much as he captivated all of Queens, as swell a guy as he is, as compelling as his personal narrative might be, I just couldn't get past this basic conclusion:
What Soroka did was more impressive.
What could be harder in today's major-league climate with its Top Flite balls and 30-homer 7-hole hitters than to be a rookie pitcher? And what skill is more rare and valuable than the ability to keep the ball in the ballpark?"
Baggarly went on to break down the debate using advanced metrics, but knew that no matter what he said to justify his vote, it wasn't going to make Mets fans feel that much better.
"It will be bad, they told me," Baggarly writes. "Very, very bad. Mets Twitter is a special flavor of Twitter."
So how bad is it going to be? Are you swayed by Baggarly's statistical breakdown, or will he rue the day he ran afoul of Mets fans everywhere?