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Van Wagenen Says Alonso Will Have Shot At Starting Job In Spring

'He Has A Chance To Be Impact Player,' GM Says

November 06, 2018 - 11:37 am


Peter Alonso tore it up in the minor leagues in 2018, but never got a chance to get called up to the Mets. That may change in 2019, though. 

New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday that Alonso will have a chance to win the first base job in spring training. 

"He is a really hard worker and he has a burning desire to succeed, and he communicated that very clearly to me," Van Wagenen said during the first day of the GM meetings in Carslbad, CA. "I told him that we're gonna give him every opportunity to try to capitalize on that both in the short term and the long term. "

Alonso, 23, who had dinner with Van Wagenen last week in Arizona, hit .285/.395/.579 between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas in 2018. He clobbered 36 homers in 132 games. 

"He will be going to big league camp and we'll try to get him as many at-bats as we can to see if we can make a decision in terms of how ready he is," Van Wagenen said. "He's gonna continue to work hard on his defense. He's gonna continue to be an impact player offensively, and we'll see how it shakes out come spring training."

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Many teams will keep their top prospects in the minors longer in order to gain an extra year of major league service time and prevent the player from gaining Super Two status. Van Wagenen was asked if that is factoring into the decision, which doesn't seem so. 

"Well my goal is to win as many games as we can," he said. "I think the wins in April were just as important as the wins in September. ... My philosophy is to try to put the best 25 guys on the field. I think he has a chance to be an impact player, and our goal is to try to have as many impact guys on the field as we can."

It might make sense for the Mets to keep Alonso in the minors for the first few weeks of the regular season. If they do so, they will guarantee an extra year of team control, which seems like the best thing to do.

If the Mets don't go with Alonso, their in-house options right now are Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores.