If you look at the Mets options at first base the 2018 stats tell the story of a few different types of players but Peter Alonso’s stats jump out to fans. Yet, let’s look at several options in the Mets system who showed similar stats in AAA.
What makes us feel that Player B will be better than Player A? Why have we given up hope on Player C, who is younger than the other two? The answer is, because of “Our Guts”. My Gut tells me that Peter Alonso, Player B, will have a more successful run in AAA than Player A or Player C.
I pretend that the feeling comes from my brain. Afterall, Players A and C have played in the majors and failed already. Yet, it’s hard to say that I have evidence that Player B will succeed where they failed.
Player A, J.D. Davis, struck out less in the PCL and managed to hit for a higher average overall. Is Alonso’s edge in power and walks enough to make him succeed in the majors where Davis has failed or does Davis just need another chance?
Player C, Dominic Smith, was clearly worse in 2018 but his 2017 AAA numbers show a player with a .330/.386/.519 line. Smith’s defense and offense failed to impress in the majors but we shouldn’t forget that he was once touted by scouts as being a Plus player defensively. (An honor neither Alonso or Davis share)
Yet I, and many other Met pundits agree that Peter Alonso is the Mets best answer to first base since the departure of Lucas Duda and the collapse of Ike Davis. That’s our Guts telling our brains that there is some sort of magic something beyond the stats on the page that makes Alonso better. Even after writing this and looking at Davis/Alonso/Smith side by side I still feel sure that my favorite deserves to be there.
What else does my gut tell me? Well, it tells me that Alonso will not be breaking from Spring Training with the Mets. It tells me that the Mets are about to botch the Jacob deGrom contract by failing to extend him, it tells me that Yoenis Cespedes will not take a single major league at bat in 2019 and it tells me that the Mets will greatly regret the trade that brought in Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano.
Why do we trust our Guts? That’s a deeper philosophical question than I have time to answer.