With the Arizona Fall League over, Mets first base prospect Peter Alonso has finished the season with 42 homers in a career-high 159 games.
Alonso crushed 36 homers during the minor league season, as he hit .285/.395/.579 in 132 games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. In the AFL, where he started off hot and cooled off late, Alonso cracked six homers while hitting .255/.339/.510 in 27 games.
The 23-year-old Alonso will be with the Mets at big league Spring Training in February, and new GM Brodie Van Wagenen -- who traveled to Arizona to have dinner with Alonso during the AFL -- recently said he is an "impact player offensively" who is going to continue to work hard on his defense.
The defense has been in question for Alonso, though a new scouting report from late-October said he has enough glove to stick at first base.
"Compensates for below-average lateral mobility and stiff fielding actions with plus hands. Will cost outs on dirt, save outs with scooping ability at bag. With age, good enough to stick at fringe-average," John Eshleman of 2080 Baseball wrote.
While Van Wagenen is on record saying Alonso has a chance to be the Mets' Opening Day first baseman, it would make sense for the Mets (if they deem him ready) to wait until mid-April to promote him.
If the Mets keep Alonso in the minors for the first two weeks or so of the regular season, they will guarantee an extra year of team control. And regardless of how Alonso performs in spring training, getting the extra year of control is the prudent thing to do.
It's common practice for many teams to keep their most prized prospects down in the minors longer than necessary in order to gain an extra year of major league service time and/or prevent the player from gaining Super Two status.
Aside from Alonso, the most likely first base options for the Mets in 2019 are Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores (if he's not non-tendered).