Who had the better year, Pete Alonso or Jacob deGrom?

We’ve dissected the bullpen, lamented the defense and been exasperated about the manager. But today let’s celebrate the two cornerstones of what went right in 2019. The Mets got outstanding seasons from Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom last year. It’s odd when you can’t say who your best player is. However, fans of Alonso and deGrom can both make a case for that distinction.

Alonso set the franchise record for homers. And on top of that, he set the MLB record for most home runs by a rookie, ending the season with 53 taters. Alonso tied Darryl Strawberry for the fifth-highest slugging percentage in team history, with a .583 mark. And he did this while playing in 161 games, just missing out on becoming the third Mets player ever to play in all 162 games.

It’s almost forgotten now but it was controversial when the Mets took Alonso north to start the year. Many people wanted to keep him in the minors for three weeks to get the extra year of team control. But in one of his best moves of the season, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said he was going to take the best 25 players and it was clear early on that Alonso fit that description.

Also somewhat forgotten now were the claims that Alonso’s defense at first base was so bad that it might make him unplayable. Not only was Alonso’s defense playable, he proved adept at scooping balls out of the dirt, the toughest play that a first baseman actually has to make on a regular basis. By the end of the year, the only complaint about Alonso defensively was that he was too aggressive fielding balls that should have been handled by the second baseman.

Meanwhile, many wondered what deGrom would do for an encore after winning the CY Award in 2018. Whether it was a hangover from the award or the new baseballs or a somewhat defensively-challenged new catcher – deGrom did not get off to a great start in 2019. After nine games, he was 3-5 with a 3.98 ERA. In 52 IP, he allowed 7 HR, compared to 10 HR surrendered in 217 IP the previous year.

In his 10th game of the year, Tomas Nido was behind the plate and we saw an outing like we were used to from deGrom – 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 Ks. From that point until the end of the season, deGrom was 8-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 152 IP. Opposing hitters managed just a .196 AVG against him and a .538 OPS. He was so dominant that the Mets stopped pairing him with Nido and there was no dropoff when Wilson Ramos was behind the plate.

While we know better than to judge a pitcher by his Won-Loss record, we still want to see a starter get rewarded with the Win when he pitches a strong game. And once again, deGrom’s teammates let him down in this regard. He had 13 games where he went at least 6 IP and gave up 2 ER or fewer and got either a no-decision or a loss.

No Mets player ever hit 50 homers in a season. Alonso did it. No Mets player ever won back-to-back CY Awards. Yet deGrom is on the verge of doing that. Alonso plays every day and teams already pitch around him. deGrom has been an asset since he first stepped on an MLB mound and has worked himself into discussion for the best pitcher in baseball.

Who had the more impressive season?

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9 comments for “Who had the better year, Pete Alonso or Jacob deGrom?

  1. John Fox
    November 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Alonso. Simply because we knew deGrom was elite, but we were not sure what we would get with the rookie Alonso

  2. Bob P
    November 10, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    DeGrom. He may win his second straight Cy Young, as the best pitcher in the NL. Alonso had a great year but he’s not in the running for MVP and did not win the Silver Slugger. Alonso definitely exceeded expectations by more than deGrom did but as far as best season it’s deGrom.

    • November 10, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      Yeah, that’s pretty much the way that I feel.

  3. Chris F
    November 11, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Alonso. He so far exceeded expectations, brought pure joy to the team, emerged as *the* de facto leader, and throttled the competition. He may have a unanimous RoY ballot. He set a MLB record.

    I think the world of DeGrom, but he’s been there, been better, and will likely win a second Cy Young. I would say the CY competition was not as comparatively difficult with respect to Alonso.

    Let me re-ask the question two ways:
    1. How would you compare 19 Alonso v 18 deGrom?
    2. How would compare 14 deGrom v 19 Alonso —- RoY years.

    • November 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

      As to your second graph, there’s no rookie who had a season remotely as good as what Max Scherzer had.

      As to your last graph

      1. 18 JDG>>>>>Alonso
      2. Alonso>14 JDG

    • Name
      November 11, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Are you really saying the ROY competition is tougher than deGrom’s Cy young competition?

      ROY is nice but it’s an incredibly small pool. Cy young you are competing against the entire pitching pool.

      Scherzer (and many other Cy Young hopeful pitchers) > Soroka
      and Tatis only played in 84 games.

      In terms of pure value it has to be deGrom easy. In terms of expectations it’s Alonso easily.

      • Bob P
        November 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm

        I think your last sentence is 100% right on.

      • Chris F
        November 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        I think Soroka not getting near the credit he deserves. Hes a worthy RoY.

        Interesting about value.

        1. In games deGrom starts, the Mets commonly do not win.
        2. In terms of financial value, Alonso clearly if you go by WAR/$
        3. In terms of “mist see” value, I think its hard to put deGrom above, just because if the sheer amount of playing time difference.

        Both has amazing years; I just think Alonso was historic.

  4. TJ
    November 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    DeGrom. His W-2 will verify it.

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