Alonso On Rookie Season: It's Been 'A Fantasy Come True'


Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has enjoyed quite the start to his MLB career.

Through his first 66 games, Alonso is hitting .254/.337/.596 with a whopping 22 home runs, good for second in all of MLB, and 49 RBIs.

His 22 homers are just four shy of the franchise rookie record set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983, and on top of that, Alonso leads all rookies in home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits, slugging percentage and total bases.

The 24-year-old joined "Mike's On" Wednesday to chat about his stellar rookie campaign.

"This is like a fantasy come true for me," Alonso told Mike Francesa. "But I have to attribute all of the success I've had to making all the sacrifices and doing the right things and working hard every single day. I mean, this has been my dream since I was a little kid. Realistically, I didn't really have a plan B. Growing up I always said I wanted to be a baseball player...

"This has been my life's work, and I'm really happy that everything is justified. All of the hard work and pretty much all of the time and effort I put into this thing, now I'm here. It's the most sweet feeling ever. I can't really describe it any other way than that."

One of the biggest knocks on Alonso heading into this season was the first baseman's defense.

While always known for his bat, the rookie was seen as a liability on the diamond due to his poor fielding.

However, through the first few months of his MLB career, Alonso has flashed a good glove at first base, putting any concerns about his defense firmly to rest.

"That's one of the main focal points that I really worked on this offseason, and really for the past two years," the rookie said about his defense. "2017 wasn't a good year for me. It doesn't take a genius baseball scout to figure that one out. But I've felt like I've done really, really well so far. I've come a long way. Not just as a person, but as a player. Not only offensively, but defensively, too.

"I'm really happy that all of the hard work is paying off and showing up... I feel like after a while, you kind of get a bad rep and people kind of just start to read the reports and not really do the research and watch what's going on. Hopefully I'm doing a good job of kicking that rep and performing well. I'm working hard every single day to continue to do so." 

While Alonso has been great throughout the season, it has been his performance late in games that has truly been eye-opening.

12 of the rookie's 22 home runs, along with 24 of his 49 RBIs, have come in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run homer against the Marlins on April 1, 2019, at Marlins Park in Miami. USA TODAY Images

In addition to the added power, the first baseman is hitting an impressive .371 during the final three innings of games this year.

"For me it's all mental," Alonso said about his late-game heroics this year. "If I'm having a bad game, and the game's on the line coming up in a tight spot, it's like I have a chance not only to redeem myself but help my team win. It's pretty much just mano a mano with the pitcher. He's the only person or thing in the way of making us win.

"I just want to do the best I can to help the boys win, because that's what's it all about at the end of the day."

While Alonso's rookie campaign has been great, the same cannot be said about the Mets' season overall.

New York has been up-and-down this year. Following Tuesday's Subway Series split, the team is sitting at 33-34 and just five games out of the division lead.

Despite the rocky start, the slugging first baseman is confident in this club's chances due to their fight and determination.

"We've been really resiliant," the rookie said. "There have been times where we've been down a lot. We've had some pretty bad stretches, but we've also had some really good stretches. We haven't given up. I mean we've been fighting... Every single day we're fighting to get where we want to be.

"It's been awesome. All of the guys have been mentally locked in and working hard. We're just trying to get everything clicking together."

To listen to Mike's full interview with Pete Alonso, click on the audio player above.