Mets Minors: Why isn’t Peter Alonso in the majors?

Based upon my experience covering the Met Minor Leagues for over 10 years, I have never seen a prospect produce the offensive success that Peter Alonso. In 115 games he has hit 30 home runs between AA and AAA, managing a .285 batting average despite a considerable slump with the Las Vegas team. To make an already impressive resume more impressive, his control of the strike zone is above average, showing the ability to take a walk despite the strikeouts that come along with power hitting.

Were this almost any other team we’d be asking, “When will they bring up this 23 year old prospect?” Since this is the Mets we know, deep down, that they will hold that off as long as possible. Today, we look at why the Mets have not and may not bring up Alonso before the end of the 2018 season.

Nothing to Play For:

The Argument: The Mets are out of the playoff picture and have been out of the playoff picture for over two months, it seems. Winning games in 2018 does nothing to help the 2019 team or any other team we may have in the future. Shouldn’t the Mets be “Tanking” as teams in Football and Basketball seem to do? That way the team could get better draft picks.

The Truth: While winning in 2018 doesn’t help the team, experience for young players in 2018 does. If the Mets can give Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Peter Alonso experience this season it might pay off with dividends for the team in 2019. Otherwise you have Alonso making his big league debut with little idea how his transition to the majors will effect him.

Controllable Years:

The Argument: While Alonso is 23 years old, he hasn’t been with the Met system for an exceptionally long time. The Mets want to maximize the controllable (affordable) time that they have with each prospect by delaying their debut until it makes the maximum financial sense for the team.

The Truth: Sure, baseball is a business. Teams need to make money and they need to make decisions for their financial well being. This is why the Mets trade some players for lesser prospects as salary dumps, right? The problem here is that the team’s financial success is also tied to the team’s actual success and the team needs to stop letting accountants run the baseball side of the business.

Backlog at the Position:

The Argument: With Wilmer Flores still on the team and the Mets looking to trade him, with David Wright and Jay Bruce in rehab and with Yoenis Cespedes unlikely to play the outfield once he’s back, do the Mets need a first baseman? Wouldn’t it be better to trade Peter Alonso for a position of need, like catcher? At least, let the Mets trade Flores (again) before they promote another right-handed first baseman.

The Truth: The Flores argument is fine. If the Mets are looking to trade Wilmer Flores before they promote Alonso, that makes some sense. After all, Flores needs the playing time to showcase his talent so the Mets can attract a trade partner. The issue is that the Mets are likely thinking of their excess baggage veterans and the contracts each represent. Where to Wright and Bruce play when they finish their rehab? To that I answer, “Where their bats earn them playing time.”

Lack of Confidence in Our Prospects:

The Argument: Look at the lack of success stories among Met hitting prospects. Amed Rosario isn’t exactly lighting things up and Dominic Smith was a near complete wash-out. Need we bring up Alex Escobar and Lastings Milledge again? Can the Mets really expect any of their hitting prospects to translate well in the majors?

The Truth: Of course they can. While no team is going to see every prospect they groom ascend to the majors and become a star, the team will get their Michael Confortos, David Wrights and Jose Reyes success stories as well. As has been said, there isn’t much comparison for Met prospects to find someone who has hit as well as Alonso has this season.

AA:

Andres Gimenez may be on his way to AAA – With 24 successful AA games in the bag and season left to play it’s possible the Mets have him start 2019 in AAA. (Last 10 Games: .342 with 4 stolen bases)

Patrick Mazeika fans hoping for late season surge – It’s been a bad year for the hitting catcher prospect but he’s managed to keep his OPS in the realm of respectability. (Last 10 Games: .281 BA, 1 HR, 5 BB and 1 K)

Justin Dunn trying to end the season with an exclamation point – Looking at AAA for 2019, Dunn only wants to do what he can to make the Mets play closer attention to him in Spring Training. (Last Start: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB and 7 K)

Franklyn Kilome is looking like a star – He made two starts since last week’s post and both were really good. (Last 2 Starts: 12.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 4 BB and 17 K)

A+:

Jeremy Vasquez putting an end cap on a solid development season – Nothing but good things to say about the solid season for the Mets first base prospect. (Last 10 Games: .281 BA, 1 HR, 6 BB and 7 K)

Desmond Lindsay doing too little too late – The season has just about sailed but Lindsay wants to hang onto the Top 50 prospect list with his fingertips. (Last 10 Games: .342 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB but 12 K)

Two solid outings for David Peterson – His performance in Advanced A hasn’t been exceptional but he’s getting better. (Last 2 Starts: 11.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB and 14 K)

A:

David Miranda shines after promotion – He’s got 10 games in Columbia on the year and he’s already 23 but his debut has been good. (Last 10 Games: .368 BA with 4 BB and 5 K)

Hansel Moreno going out big – He’s a promising infield prospect with good physical gifts and he’s making them felt in Columbia. (Last 10 Games: .311 BA, 2 HR, 6 SB but 16 K)

R2:

Luis Santana looks like a #1/#2 hitter – He’s got great contact and plate control with reasonable speed. He’s a long way from the majors but it’s a good skill set to have. (Last 10 Games: .357 BA, 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K and 1 SB)

Jarred Kelenic is ending on a high note – He’s got his batting average back up and is striking out less. Expect him in Brooklyn or Columbia in 2019. (Last 10 Games: .317 BA)

R1:

Stanley Consuegra good late – He wasn’t quick to success like Ronny Mauricio but he’s played well lately. (Last 10 Games: .333 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K and 1 SB)

Simeon Woods Richardson is an interesting new prospect – Coming to the Mets with some quality scouting and some potential baggage he’s been good for the GCL in his minor league debut. (Stats To Date: 5 G, 11.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 BB and 15 K)

12 comments for “Mets Minors: Why isn’t Peter Alonso in the majors?

  1. Eraff
    August 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Some seasoning and roster count—- also, preserving his mystery and value

    • David Groveman
      August 20, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Arguments could be made for and against.

    • Name
      August 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      “preserving his mystery and value”

      100% this.

      Unless he hits like Rhys Hoskins last year, playing him in the majors now will only cause his trade value to go down from its current lofty position. Which means calling him up means that the Mets are 100% committing to him for the start of the next season and giving up the possibility of trading him.

      I don’t care much for the experience argument. Spring Training is a good enough simulation. Better to keep our options flexible and not bring him up.

      • TJ
        August 20, 2018 at 6:41 pm

        And another 100% this.

        I surely would like to see Alonso this season but there really is only downside, very little upside. We know what Wilmer is and there is very little likelihood that he is in the 2019 plans. Dom should be getting starts at 1B and OF, vs. RHP and LHP, and Bruce should play exclusively at 1B when he returns, as everyone knows what he can do in RF.

      • Chris F
        August 20, 2018 at 9:59 pm

        Yeap.

  2. Eraff
    August 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Jay is going to get a look at 1b

  3. August 20, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    It’s hard to give up on Lindsay because he can do a little bit of everything if he can just stay healthy. He’s like the current version of Reese Havens in that regard. At this point, I hope he’s one of the guys that the club sends to the Arizona Fall League to get additional PA this season.

    Does Alonso have to be added to the 40-man this year? If not, that might be one of the reasons they’re stalling on his promotion.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 21, 2018 at 6:51 am

      No, the Mets have already said that the 40 man roster consideration is in play.

  4. JC
    August 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    The Alonso debate among fans is a great example of what frustrates me about being a mets fan. Frankly I think it makes we met fans look hypocritical. My problem is not with all fans but rather the naritive “mets twitter” seems to foster. They want this team to make smart analytical decisions while at the same time insisting the kid should play.

    1) as I understand the roster rules at all this year but there will be people they have to add to protect them from the rule 5 draft so why exactly expose one of them to the rule 5 because you jumped the gun on adding the young guy to appease fans in september.
    2) Fans are tired of bad defence everyone agrees D has to approve and evaluators say he is not ready to play MLB D so why rush a kid again that does not even have to be on the 40 man
    3) as this article points out many have doubts about our development and that we “can’t develop position players” well except Conforto, Nimmo, McNeil, Rosario and apparently a 23 year old firstbasemen that is so over qualifed the team has to rush him up because he is ripping the cover off the ball in PCL.
    4) He so needs the MLB experience that he should play all september instead of playing bruce / smith/ Flores and figuring out what you have in guys you have to make roster decisions on before free agency

    To me the baseball choice is clear leave him down and send him to the Arizona fall league to work on his D (However I admit i’m not sure how AZ fall league eligibility works) the PR move is to call him up and as a mets fan I’m terrified the team will follow an old pattern and be more worried about the back pages

    • Hobie
      August 20, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      That.

  5. Madman
    August 20, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Why promote Alonso and sit Flores? Why start Alonso’s clock? Give Alonso more time in Triple A. He’ll get his shot in June.

  6. Steevy
    August 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    10 day DL for Nimmo because of a bruised finger.

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